When you think yoga probably a few words come to mind - flexibility, stretching, and breathe. For those of you who might not be able to touch your toes, this can be very discouraging. I can’t tell you how many people tell me they can’t do yoga because they are not flexible, so they don’t try it. It can definitely be discouraging if your flexibility feels like a bad joke, but it’s all about baby steps. A marathon runner doesn’t wake up one morning and start running marathons. So, it’s unrealistic to believe that you will be an advanced yogi without practice. As I’ve often heard, slow and steady wins the race. Yoga is definitely not about winning, but it sure feels good when you finally get that favourite yoga pose.
Here are 7 great reasons to get started:
- It’s a great workout. Yoga is a fantastic workout for your body. You can adapt the practices to your own speed and level of comfort. Yoga stretches and exercises are designed around the idea of moving your body to increase its strength and durability.
- It gets you in touch with your body. Doing yoga on a regular basis will really get you to be much more in tune with your body and know when something is really working and when it isn’t. Don’t be too concerned if it doesn’t work exactly as you’d like day one.
- It can help your breathing technique. A big part of yoga is the breathing exercises–or the pranayama–which are incorporated into positions and then on their own. The exercises encourage a more focused and centred way of breathing, and while they might not be something you’ll do consciously every day, they’re absolutely sure to provide methods of effective stress-management and generally make you feel much better.
- It can improve your sleep. It might be due to the fact that if you have problems getting to sleep, working on problem-areas through yoga can help alleviate pain symptoms and increase the likelihood of better sleep. Another possibility is that most yoga sessions have a cool-down sequence at the end, which can definitely induce some easy slumber.
- It will improve your posture. Yoga is pretty effective at helping you develop some premium, proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect. Good posture is definitely going to develop during yoga practice.
- It can develop your physical and mental strength. The whole point of yoga is to work on your body’s strength so that you can sit for longer in meditation, and the physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that you’ll experience plenty of physical strength benefits as a result.
- Meditation, meditation, meditation. Meditation isn’t necessarily sitting with a bowl of incense and working your way through a book of Tibetan chants in a darkened, candlelit room–rather, you can meditate anywhere quiet and at absolutely any time you like. All it takes is five minutes with some alone time and peace and quiet. Meditation improves your quality of life by allowing your mind some time to process everything that goes on in your life. It’s a hugely important and integral part of yoga practice and something that can really change your life, allowing you to embrace calmness and serenity with ease.