I have had many people come up to me after taking my classes for a couple weeks stating that they are so surprised about Yoga. I ask them what they mean and they start to rave about all the things that it has done for them which happen to be many of the same things that happened to me once I started doing yoga. So I have compiled them into these 5 reasons why Yoga is amazing and absolutely a must in our crazy go, go, go lives.
You learn so much on your mat while doing a yoga practice. What happens on your there is a huge mirror for whats happening in life. Its on your mat that your impatience is magnified, your thoughts are loud and clear and your lack of confidence is shown. These things are brought to your attention is a safe place that fives you the opportunity to rewire those neural pathways and create a new pattern of thoughts. If you start to feel impatient in an uncomfortable posture your first response may be to get made and angry and want to leave the pose, but yoga teaches you to stay still in the posture, to learn to face those emotions and to start bringing more light to them. Instead of getting angry you are told to breathe, to find expansion in your body even in a confined posture. What this translates to is your ability to stay calm in an un-calm situation like when in your car doing traffic. Your impulse may be to yell and get made but now instead you take deep breathes, recognize that you can do nothing about the situation and so you get to learn how to choose to be happy and expansive despite the circumstances.
2) Self Care.
We rarely get to take time for ourselves this day and age and the great things about Yoga is that it provides a scheduled amount of time to let go of our thoughts and be present with ourselves. In yoga we focus on the breathe which brings us into the present moment focusing on the feeling of here and now instead of questioning the past or fearing the future. It teaches us to love the feeling of our bodies and teaches us how to listen to out bodies by becoming aware of what it is that we need that day. Postures feel different everyday and so we are taught to listen to that and honor that. We learn to encourage ourselves to create a self-care practice that allows for taking time for the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of health.
3) Gives Your Brain a Workout.
In the same way as muscles, the brain develops through training. As the saying goes, " if you don't use it you loose it" which goes not just for your body but your brain to. Yoga requires focus and attention which strengthens the left pre-frontal cortex which deals with memory and attention. Yoga requires you to pay attention and draw those wandering thoughts in and direct them in a positive direction.
This one is obvious but when you have a consistent yoga practice you become more flexible. What you may have not known is that flexibility helps us become better athletes, releases stress stored in our muscles and realigns the body from all the sitting that we do all day.
There is a plethora of other reasons why a Yoga practice could be so beneificial for you. If you want to find out what else it can do then get up, step on to a mat and start tuning into your breathe.