If you happen to be one of the few people who has never tried yoga, NOW is the time to start! You may be thinking that it is not for you. However, yoga has evolved exponentially so that there is truly a type of yoga for everyone out there. Despite what you may see on tv and in the movies, we don’t just sit around in lotus position breathing silently. I would die. Nope, in addition to the traditional formats, now there is yoga for children, stand up paddle board yoga, aerial yoga, beer yoga, laughing yoga and even yoga with goats, kittens and puppies (oh my!). And if that doesn’t entice you enough, check out these benefits you will undoubtedly reap as well!
Nothing will strengthen your entire body as quickly as yoga does. This is because you will use all your muscles unlike any other type of workout. Yoga requires you to use muscles simultaneously to both mobilize and stabilize yourself. This makes for a very toned, defined physique. More importantly, you will eventually be able to hold yourself in some amazing poses. Yoga is also the perfect compliment to anything else you are doing such as running, biking or weight training.
You will find that practicing yoga will increase your flexibility faster and easier than old school techniques. This is because you will be stretching and elongating the same muscles in various ways which is safer and more effective. Gone are the days where you will be just bending over reaching for your toes, pulling your back out.
Engaging your core is a crucial component to every pose in yoga. This helps to stabilize and balance you in postures. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing a six-pack form.
Breathing is KING in yoga. Nothing is more important. Breathing regulates every system, organ and gland in our bodies. It is imperative to oxygenate the cells for optimum vitality. Remember what happens if you stop breathing???
Yoga will energize your mind, body and soul. It increases circulation, heart rate and helps detox the lymph and digestion systems, transforming you into a more efficient running machine.
I especially love doing hot yoga when I am really stressed because I feel the stillness and heat literally melt my stress away. But any type of yoga is going to help clear your mind and relax your body.
Doing yoga is Nature’s anti-depressant. Any exercise increases dopamine levels, those “feel good” chemicals in your brain. But yoga is extra special. It allows you to breathe in love, courage, strength and release fear, anxiety and grief. And the more you do it, the more this positive mood becomes your permanent mood.
- Get out of your comfort zone
One of my favorite quotes is, “Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.” This is so true, and yoga will push you far out of your comfort zone, if you allow it. Remember, there is no such thing as failing in yoga. You fall (and you will fall) and you get back up. It’s all part of the journey.
I have taught at many yoga studios, attended many as a student and one of the things I have loved most are the communities. Yogis are full of love, energy and kindness and they want to share it will the world. I have made some of my best friends and most memorable experiences through yoga.
Most importantly, yoga is FUN! It is like being a kid again. Where else can you go do handstands and act like any number of animals on your lunch break???
So, there it is, 10 reasons to jump on your mat with the rest of us…Namaste!