Reasons to include yoga in your life: Here’s what our students/ teachers say
Going to a yoga class for the first time can be intimidating and often times overwhelming. Some questions running through your mind might include, “Why is everyone in pretty, tight clothes and I am wearing sweatpants? I can’t do a handstand! Is this wrong? Why are they chanting? Why am I even trying to put my body in these pretzel shapes? What if I do it wrong?” Before stepping onto your mat take a moment to consider why. This can help you understand that yoga is a practice and every student shows up on their mat to receive the same physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
Yoga is an ancient practice and philosophy handed down from gurus and teachers to students dating back to the Vedic period in what is modern day India. This physical and spiritual practice more recently has inundated modern American culture. This begs the question as to why this Eastern philosophy and tradition has become increasingly widespread in western society. For further research Yoga Journal traces the lineage of yoga’s popularity in their online posting.
Top 5 Reasons You Should be Doing Yoga
If you are looking to try yoga and are wondering what all the hype is about here are 5 reasons why you might considering stepping onto your mat in a yoga studio or gym.
- Connection to yourself: In the western world we are trained to always focus on the external world as opposed to internal reflection. One of the five observances or Niyamas of yoga, Svadhyaya, translates to the study of the self. Before we even step onto our mats we are encouraged to delve into our true nature and look inward to move past the distractions of our mind and everyday life. For a deeper understanding of svadhyaya, feel free to peruse EkhartYoga’s article.
- Gain flexibility: A part of our physical fitness assessment includes flexibility, which is a key component in our overall fitness. Flexibility increases range of motion in our muscles, joints and connective tissue and furthermore is an excellent form of injury prevention. Check out this excellent article to flesh out the benefits of flexibility.
- Gain strength: Yoga enhances not only the flexibility of your muscles, but also aids in overall strength. Applying different stress to your muscles increases bones density and strength, which can prevent osteoporosis in women and aid the body in it’s aging process. Furthermore, it increases the overall function of the muscular, skeletal, digestive, and neurological systems of the body. Read med-health for more benefits of muscular strength.
- Pranayama: An overwhelming large population of Americans live their life in a stress induced toxic frame of mind. Additionally, many health problems are linked to stress and overbreathing. Breathwork is one of the eight limbs of yoga and an essential component of the practice. Yoga teaches students how to breath deeply and using the entire diaphragm and lung capacity. Proper breathwork aids students in enhancing their focus, increasing the amount of oxygen flowing to their extremities and also the brain. When it doubt, breath it out! Feel free to learn more about types of breathwork here!
- Community of yoga: The yoga lifestyle is taking off in the United States. Yoga Alliance facilitated a statistical analysis of yoga in the United States in 2016. They found that over 36.7 million Americans practiced yoga. Stepping into a studio, gym, or community event connects you to a network of people dedicated to health, peace, and service to the planet. Yogis or Yogins speak the universal language of love, unity and strength. What better way to connect to like minded individuals than yoga!
Our students and teachers say…
In response to your question “why should someone practice yoga”….wow…that’s pretty deep. Of course suggesting someone should actually do something is usually met with resistance, especially something that has the potential to change ones life….. Why I practice yoga regularly: relieves pain, improves sleep, relieves worry and anxiety, makes one younger (well, feel younger), and one of the main reasons I practice at a studio is a sense of community which probably influenced all the other benefits.” – Jud Crow
“Yoga is my time to serve myself so that I can better serve those around me. Yoga is a beautiful practice in life that helps us feel and send love with the world.” – Jessica Rou
“Yoga is a natural extension of my meditation. It forces me to focus on what I am doing at that moment. I call it Yoda, instead of yoga” -Anonymous
“Makes me feel grounded in my busy life.”-Anonymous
“Alignment. Slow, incremental alignment of everything, in a focussed and mindful environment.” -Anonymous
“To slow down, to get grounded, to show up for myself, to de-stress, to be mindful and present. basically, to save me from the world.”-Anonymous
A myriad of remonstrances exist for practicing yoga. Due to the physical, mental and spiritual benefits your yoga practice evolves with you throughout your entire life. As the season of the year and your life change your practice deepens and transforms correspondingly. Yoga brings an awareness and appreciation of the present moment whilst simultaneously uniting your past, present and understanding of the unknown. Yoga is all things in one. A philosophy, science, physical practice, solace, community, expression of divine love, and a guideline for ethical living. Have fun exploring your body and practice!As always, see you on the mat!