Good Vibes Only: 10 Reasons to Become a Yogi Today
Originating over 10,000 years ago, it is safe to say that Yoga has stood the test of time. Yoga isn’t just for flexible females and man-buns. Yoga’s beneficial aspects can be appreciated by all, from honing your mental focus to finding your inner peace.
Here are just a few of the reasons to become a yogi this year.
During your first few yoga classes, you may find that the basic downward dog pose is not as comfortable as it looks, but no need to worry. As you continue to stretch the tendons and muscles lengthen, you increase elasticity and make the more challenging yoga poses possible.
These postures are great because they strengthen joints, increase muscle tone, and improve your body’s range of motion. If you practice yoga frequently you will notice increases in mobility and control over your body making you feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. You will soon notice it is easier to sit with a better posture and experience reduced neck, back, joint and muscle pains due to the strengthened muscles and stretched ligaments.
Yoga is a great excuse to swap out your weights and try something different, using the weight of your own body to engage new muscle groups.
Yoga postures, also called asanas, use every muscle in the body, which increase strength all around. Asanas also relieve muscle tension and stress on the joints, improving your bodies resiliency. Higher intensity yoga sessions will increase endurance and stamina, helping you through more challenging workouts and your strength training.
Practicing yoga comes with natural weight loss benefits. This is a result of reduced cortisol levels and increases in the body’s metabolism. The reduction of stress and the ability to sleep better plays a part in your overall weight loss as you are literally burning calories as you snooze.
Yoga tends to provide a heightened sense of self-esteem and well-being, which makes you second guess the decision to get fast food for lunch instead of taking the time to prepare something a little healthier. Reduced stress and greater self-awareness reduce stress and emotional-related eating.
Many beginners enter into their first session skeptical and full of doubt, but many who stick with the practice report that yoga’s meditative aspects help them reach a deeper, more spiritual place.
Yoga provides stress and pain relief which improves your mood and makes it easier to find that inner peace. The reduction in depression, anxiety, and fear helps to break down that invisible barrier that connects you to your inner self. This helps you get to know who you truly are.
A lot of us can’t seem to find any sort of relief because we are so overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We just can’t find a way to unwind. Yoga provides a healthy avenue to release pent up tension and just let go.
Yoga is all about the exact moment you are currently in. By focusing on your breathing and certain mantras that can be repeated in your head, you let go of yesterday’s events and your worries for tomorrow, strictly focusing on what is happening right now. The humming of the ceiling fan, the ticking of your living room clock, whatever it may be. Forget there is anything else but the moment you’re living in and you will find yourself at peace.
This practice helps you become more aware and improves your mind-body health. It opens new paths to creativity and helps with concentration, coordination, memory and reaction time.
As we age, our bodies start to ache a little more and tire a lot faster. Yoga is a great way to find healthy relief from these chronic aches and pains and improve your energy.
Yoga asanas are so successful in pain relief that people who suffer from cancer, arthritis, and even MS have incorporated these routines into their daily lives. Even those suffering from average neck and back pain will find relief due to the constant stretching of ligaments and increases in muscle mass.
Our lives consist of many things that add to our already peaking levels of stress. Getting behind at work, getting cut off on the way home, bills, bills, bills. Sometimes all we need is a little quiet time, taking some deep breaths in a dimly lit room allowing you to forget everything that has been bothering you throughout the day.
Stress relief can be as simple as that. Yoga reduces the stress hormone cortisol along with aiding in deeper sleep patterns. Waking up refreshed and well rested will greatly benefit the outcome of your day, improving mood, allow you to get more done and eliminate unnecessary stress.
Spirituality is something a lot of us struggle with, but yoga has a mysterious way of connecting us to something deeper. The chanting, slow breathing, and the calm but intense asanas bring about a certain aura to the peaceful yogi.
Deepening your yoga practice you may find yourself feeling a certain connection to the universe, the people, plants and animals we are surrounded by day to day. This comes about with increased self-awareness and helps you focus on what matters most, like spending time with family and taking time out of your day to lend a helping hand to someone in need.
Yoga teaches the importance of Pranayama, or yogic breathing, which is controlling ones breathing and taking slower and deeper breaths. Deep inhalations and long, paused exhalation increase the amount of oxygen produced in the body, enhancing lung capability and triggering the body's relaxation response.
For someone with asthma for instance, this Pranayama is a great way to explore a more focused and centered way of breathing and open up your lungs.
LOOK & FEEL BETTER
Yoga lubricates your joints, ligaments and tendons, and washes out certain toxins in the body through the various poses and breathing techniques. This results in a more comfortable you, reducing chances of arthritis and even delaying the onset of incoming wrinkles to make you feel and look a lot younger.
You may not be a Lululemon Ambassador (yet!), but spending 30 minutes of your day to simultaneously challenge your body AND ease your mind may be your ticket to improve your wellness this year.
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