5 Benefits of Practicing Yoga
by Lauren Himes
June 12, 2019
For a long time, I have heard about the benefits of yoga and have taken an interest in it. However, I never truly got into the practice until this past winter. Partly due to not wanting to deal with the expenses of a class and partly because of not taking the time for it, I never was able to get into a consistent practice. Being stuck inside during the cold months of winter, I needed to find something new and different to keep me occupied. Yoga turned out to be the perfect hobby as it kept me active but also helped me relax and relieve stress after tough days at work.
I sort of randomly stumbled across a Youtube channel, Yoga with Adriene, which had tons of free yoga classes and also some interesting 30 day challenges. I think it was the day after Thanksgiving, and I decided I was going to start a 30 day challenge and practice yoga everyday. I quickly began to enjoy the practice and look forward to each day and working on and strengthening the different poses. I quickly discovered what all the hype was about, and could see numerous benefits of doing yoga. Some of the major benefits that yoga brought for me include:
1. Focuses on Mind-Body Connection
Yoga really emphasizes controlled breathing along with stretching exercises. It focuses more on our awareness of our body and our movements as we go through the various poses and postures. Itâ€™s different from the vast majority of exercises because each movement is done intentionally slow so that the yogi can work on creating a deeper stretch and a more mindful overall experience.
2. Builds Flexibility
One major benefit of yoga is that it helps build flexibility. As everyone is different, the poses and postures will vary in difficulty for everyone. The cool thing is that each day you practice you can challenge yourself to improve and poses that once seemed impossible will become doable and maybe even enjoyable!
3. Improves Balance
Another amazing thing that yoga helps us with is our balance. There are a lot of specific poses which really focus on maintaining balance. This area really shows how important our mind-body connection is, as my mentality that day can really affect how strong I am in my balancing poses.
4.Relieves Anxiety and Stress
After practicing yoga for several months, I can honestly say it has benefited me in dealing with both anxiety and general daily stress. Through mindful breathing and stretching, it really helps us to slow down and take control. Not only do these poses benefit our bodies tremendously, they really help us to focus on the present moment and clear our minds from other stressors.
5. Inspires Positive Thinking
All in all, one of my favorite parts about yoga is how it makes me feel. It is an incredibly powerful practice, because not only does it physically benefit us but it helps with the flow of positive energy. With each practice, you can truly tailor it to your own needs and choose to channel your energy on a particular area. Routinely practicing can and making improvements can really empower and motivate you to keep going.
I have been able to continue to see for myself so many of these amazing benefits of doing yoga. I think most of all what makes yoga so unique is that it doesnâ€™t only work for our physical health, but also for our mental and emotional health.