Today I am listing the 14 weeks worth of blogs I have been unable to write due to “technical difficulties”… so here are a few more of our 50 reasons to do yoga this year!
#7 Yoga Improves Focus: during a class we focus the mind intently on the present moment and being fully aware of our body and breathing. This practice on the mat, is something that often follows us off the mat into our daily lives and work.
#8 Yoga Builds Strength: Perhaps this seems obvious, but if not remember you do not have to become a weight lifter to become strong! Yoga works the body physically on the inside and out. Not only are you building strength in the muscles of the body, but also in the organs and even in the mind 😉
#9 Yoga Strengthens The Back: Did you know the science of yoga is based around the spine? We elongate the spine in all stretches, creating space for the spinal cord and nervous system to work at it’s best. In every posture the spine moves in one of six directions, each having their own benefits along with strengthening the back. We stretch to the left and the right, we twist to the left and the right, we stretch forward and we stretch backward. These 6 movements give the spine the full stretch necessary for optimum health and strength.
#10 Yoga Opens The Body: I cannot say this enough in classes, yoga creates space in the body. Through breathing and stretching we release tight muscles, bring mobility into the joints, and allow a lightness into the weight of our bodies.
#11 Yoga Opens The Lungs (side stretches): Through breathing we can release old patterns of tight breathing. We learn to breathe fully and deeply and this allows move oxygen into the lungs and body, as well as helping remove old stale air from the lungs. Plus we begin to stretch the body from the inside out with our lung expansion!
#12 Yoga Opens The Heart (back bends): This is why I became a yoga teacher. This isn’t a physical expression, it’s an emotional and energetic experience that can happen through practicing yoga. Without even being aware of it, we begin to peel back the layers of armor we unconsciously put over our hearts to protect ourselves (or repress) from pain and suffering. We get in touch with ourselves on an emotional level, sometimes having surprising emotional experiences during our time on the mat. Our hearts open as we begin to move fully into our True selves, becoming more healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically.
#13 Yoga Opens The Back (forward bends): This may sound strange, but we physically open the muscles of the back by bending forward. If you have back tension, or back pain, it’s likely from tight muscles that do not allow healthy space for spinal movement. Proper forward bends help release tension in the back and combined with proper back-bends helps improve our posture.
#14 Yoga Gives the spine 6 major movements to optimize whole body function. Refer to all notes above, especially “Yoga Strengthens The Back”.
#15 Yoga Detoxifies Body (twists): Although twists are famous for the detoxification of the organs, yoga helps detoxify the body through deep breathing as well. All movements of the spine address gentle or deep pressure to specific organs to help them function at their highest level.
#16 Yoga Can Help Gain Flexibility: This can be a slow process, but over time, as we practice postures with awareness and breathing we do release old tension and we are able to move deeper into our asana. My teachers told us “If that tension has been building up for x-amount of years, expect it to take the same to release.” Often it releases much faster 🙂
#17 Yoga Can Help Gain More Mobility: As noted above this can take a lot of time and patience, but when we commit to daily practice we can gain a new range of motion in the joints, and over time we may find we can walk or run better, longer, or even maintain our standing and sitting positions more comfortably without sacrificing our mobility.
#18 It’s fun! Lets face it, yoga can be a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s the challenges, sometimes it’s the combination of people in the class, sometimes it’s the awkward postures, but overall yoga can be a lot of fun.
#19 Size Does Not Matter! No matter how big or small you are, yoga can be modified for all body types. Even if you have to sit in a chair, use a wall for balance, or focus more on breathing then postures: size does not have to matter, find a teacher who can make it your own comfortable and safe practice.
#20 Age does not matter! Please do not think you are ever too old or too young for yoga. There are so many different styles and teachers who can modify and specialize in seniors classes, kids classes and family classes. Yoga is for everyone and anyone willing to try it.