Over the past months, I’ve been discussing the many benefits of yoga: it lowers stress, it helps your bones, it keeps you fit, it can prevent and treat back pain, and so much more. Today I want to mention that yoga can help you simply be healthier in general.
There’s just something about yoga. It makes you want to take care of yourself. As you go through various poses, you start to notice different things about your body. You realize that you can do balancing poses with ease, but you have difficulty reaching past your shins in Seated Forward Bend – or whatever the case may be for you. You simply start to take notice.
Then you do some deep breathing, some guided relaxation and some meditation. You start to feel the tension in various parts of your body and you realize you have the power to let it go. You can gain greater control over your thoughts and your worries. You start to see more of the beauty in life and you feel a connection to something bigger than yourself. You simply begin to think about life differently.
Over time, you gain strength, you gain flexibility and you gain confidence. You feel closer to your body and more in tune with your natural self. You feel more able to handle problems and stressors in your life. You start to pass on unhealthy habits because you notice how your body feels when you eat those chips. You also notice how your body feels when you fuel it well. But at the same time, you don’t feel bad about yourself if you want to enjoy a dessert. You feel more loving and compassionate toward yourself and others. You have breakthroughs mentally, physically and spiritually.
Yoga can change your life. And I’m not the only one that experiences yoga and feels these changes. I hear it all the time and I see research that backs it up (not that you need to see the research when you’re feeling the benefits for yourself). If you’ve tried yoga and you haven’t experienced at least some of these changes, I would tell you to try another class. Try taking a different type of yoga, try a different teacher or simply change the way you approach the class. Expand your practice at home, in a setting where you feel comfortable. Create a soothing space dedicated to yoga or practice some poses and meditation while surrounded by the beauty and infinity of nature. Try tools like soothing music, aromatherapy and chimes to see if they help you expand. Most of all, try letting go of competition and practice going inward. Listen to your body, pay attention to what it’s telling you and explore – mind, body and spirit. Enjoy the journey.