Yoga is a journey. It invites us to explore our heart’s desire while connecting our mind, body, and spirit. It inspires us to be present with where we are in life right now. Your yoga practice can last a lifetime.
Many students begin their yoga journey looking to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They stay not only for the physical benefits but for the more subtle ones connecting mind and spirit to the body. Yoga truly is for everyone and every body. The practice can help us age well and live an active life with purpose and passion. Yoga is a holistic system utilizing many methods. A practice may include asanas (postures), pranayama (breathwork), and meditation. It may also include mantras (affirmations), mudras (hand gestures), and energy work. Students can practice with a teacher or on their own. Props and modifications are usually provided to allow each student to practice in a safe and personalized environment.
There are many benefits to practicing yoga. It is impressive the benefits experienced when you begin practicing regularly. Listed below are some of the main benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
- Reduces stress
- Boosts mood and confidence
- Promotes better sleep
- Improves focus
- Increases relaxation
- Improves overall brain health
- Enhances working memory (short-term memory)
- Brings a sense of calm and ease to the mind
- Increases flexibility
- Improves muscle strength and tone
- Develops and maintains balance
- Boosts energy and vitality
- Eases pain and reduces chronic inflammation
- Helps prevent injury
- Boosts immunity
- Builds bones and helps improve posture
- Supports circulatory health (lowers blood pressure)
- Improves respiratory health
- Increases athletic performance
- Strengthens a resilient spirit
- Connects the heart to innate joy and bliss
- Increases self-esteem
- Encourages self-care
- Cultivates awareness
- Explores energy
- Removes blocks keeping one from fully experiencing life
- Opens one to creativity, healing, and union
- Builds inner awareness for transformation
- Benefits your relationships
- Helps you serve others (Karma yoga)
- Reminds us we are all connected.
As you can see, there are so many varied benefits to practicing Yoga. If these benefits could be packaged in a pill, it would fly off of the shelves and be a best seller!
Another beautiful aspect about starting the journey of yoga is all you need is YOU. There are so many different styles and techniques to this simple, yet complex, practice that it is easy to get caught up in what it looks like. I am here to assure you that your practice doesn’t need to look a certain way. It is YOUR practice, your time, and a wonderful gift to yourself!
Whether you’re laying down in Savasana (corpse pose) or busting out asana after asana, whether you’re at home laying on a blanket or at one of the fanciest of studios with the nicest of mats, it doesn’t matter. Receiving the benefits of yoga only requires one thing – for you to practice.
If you go in with the intention to connect with prana (life force), along with connecting to the body, feelings, and sensations within, there is no doubt you will get what you are looking for.
This practice truly has no limits because YOU have no limits! This is a practice of freedom, exploration, and creativity. You can go with it as far as you’d like…the journey never ends. This is another true gem of incorporating yoga into your daily life.
Unlike so many other things in life, there is no end goal, no destination, no stopping point, no one to beat. Yoga truly is the gift that keeps on giving while asking for very little in return – just for you to show up.
Stepping into this practice with an open body, mind, and heart will lead you down the path of true unity. If you are in it simply for the physical aspect, that is what you will get and yoga will not fall short to any other exercise routine.
On the other hand, if you are open to it transforming your life and opening you to the essence of all that is, then your spirit will receive the benefits of deep self-love and care along with sincere compassion for others. Regardless of your choice, the practice will work its magic on all layers because that’s what it is designed to do.
I invite you to begin a journey of yoga and discover the gifts this practice offers.