Good news folks- I have a new computer! Now to catch up on all these blogs…
In January I started a blog series “50 Reasons To Do Yoga” with the intention of writing one blog (one reason) per week. Then my computer crashed and blogs became random and spontaneous… and not always on theme with our 50 reasons!
Well here are 10 more reasons to add to 2015’s list of why you should try yoga now!
#21 Yoga is more then just fitness! That’s right. Yoga can be a full body work out for sure, but it’s so much more then just exercise. It helps detoxify the organs, it helps calm and clear the mind, it helps rebalance your nervous system, and it all stems from an ancient practice based on the Yoga Sutras (ancient text by Patanjali guiding people to peace and enlightenment).
#22 Yoga is meditation in motion. Another reason why yoga is more then just fitness- it’s meditation in motion. It gives the mind a conscious focus on the physical body, which ultimately brings us united into the present moment where no other thoughts arise. This is one form of meditation. So if sitting cross-legged for long periods of time is not appealing to you, try yoga!
#23 Yoga helps sooth anxiety. In today’s western world it is easy to be overwhelmed and bombarded by the senses. Levels of anxiety get higher, and more and more people are suffering from this ailment. Yoga works with breathing (pranayama) that can help ease anxiety, as well as simple postures and flows that help re-balance the nervous system, which in turn pulls us out of “fight or flight” mode.
#24 Yoga can help improve sleep. The number one feed-back I get from yoga classes is “I sleep better” or “I can sleep again”. Also because of yoga’s well-rounded postures combined with pranayama we reset our systems. We come out of go-go-go mode and begin to wind down and relax again. Yoga can definitely help improve sleep.
#25 Yoga can help clear your mind. Am I repeating myself? Yoga will help clear the mind by focusing it on body and breathing. It sounds so simple, right? Try it!
#26 Yoga might even ease depression. I’m not one to brag about the depressive states I have experienced through out life, but what I can say is since practising yoga these states have lessened in both quantity and intensity. The still come, but they no longer consume me, I can see it for what it is, accept it, be present, breathe through it, nurture myself more, and I know it passes. It always does. How does it help? Yoga is an opportunity to study body and mind. Moving the body helps move blocked energy and emotions stored in us. It’s a release- there’s a willingness to release or move through instead of move deeper or cling to this disabling state depression can be. It took years of studying my mind before I really saw the waves clearly, and that in itself has been liberating.
#27 You can do yoga anywhere! I love love love my home practice… because you can do it any time you feel like it. It doesn’t take a lot of room, you just need to clear some floor space and lay down your mat or a blanket. Breathe. Move how your body wants to move. Let your body be your teacher. Standing in a line up? Practice pranayama. Playing at the park with the kids? Bust out some yoga challenges. Bored? Find some flows on you tube. Your opportunities are endless once you start thinking outside the box of your weekly yoga class.
#28 Yoga helps you get to know your body in a unique way. This has been the most enlightening part of my personal practice. I have gotten to know my body on a level few people will likely experience. I can *almost* feel my organs functioning, literally. I can sense when bones are out of alignment, joints are not functioning as they could, and when in sivasana the deep stillness allows me to really experience how this miraculous body is functioning on it’s own accord. When you move through a slow, gentle, yoga routine you really tune into what is happening in your body. And these are things you could go through your life NEVER LEARNING. Never feeling, or being aware that there is tension building up and unable to release to the point it becomes chronic pain and has a negative affect on your life. Yoga is our “reset button”. We stop, we pause, we breathe, we scan, we feel; and when we move it is with the conscious awareness of releasing tension from the body. When we move quickly or without deeper awareness, we often create tension in the body. Sometimes we may even aggravate what we are trying to release. The key point here is, only YOU know what you are experiencing in your body. No teacher can get inside of you to know what “feels right”. Teachers are there to assist, to suggest, and support, but YOU are your own unique body with an innate wisdom to connect to. So stop looking at what the other students in class are doing, and instead focus inwards on what is happening in your own body and how it feels. If you’re struggling, ask your teacher for suggestions. We are happy to help you explore!
#29 Yoga helps us rest on a very deep level. Sivasana, yoga nidra, pranayama…. all conscious relaxations that help us rest and rejuvenate in a way that is different then sleep. Ideally in these relaxed states, we are in a comfortable position, the mind is alert and present, and our physical and mental bodies rest in stillness. This helps re-build and maintain our energy levels. If you are depleted restorative yoga would be an excellent practice to look into. Our gentle classes are based on a similar philosophy, but do not involve as many props or supported postures (or eye pillows).
#30 Yoga rejuvenates body and mind simultaneously. This is similar to #29 in the sense that the relaxation aspects of yoga are there to rejuvenate our body, mind and energy levels. But even the physical postures are designed to help rejuvenate through detoxification and elongation of the spine. Because yoga improves organ function, blood flow, nerve function and flexibility it only makes sense that it is rejuvenating the body and mind simultaneously! They are so closely interlinked and effected by one another. “As we think, so we become.” – Buddha.
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