Why You Should Begin Your Yoga Practice
Yoga Makes You Feel Good
Welcome to Day 9 of my Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge! As I was sitting here thinking about what I am most grateful for my first thought was yoga. Yoga has genuinely changed my life. I’m not really the yoga type either. I don’t enjoy working out. I have to force myself to use the treadmill. I prefer to get my exercise outside whenever possible. But yoga is so much more than amazing exercise. Let me tell you all about it.
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Reasons You Need Yoga In Your Life
- It’s nice to be strong.
- Your mental health matters.
- Stress relief is always welcome.
- Yoga sharpens your mind and strengthens your memory.
- Yoga helps significantly with pain relief.
- Yoga helps with sleep.
- Yoga boosts your mood.
- Yoga improves your balance and posture.
- It helps your body detoxify.
- It’s good for your self-esteem.
Why I Didn’t Think I Would Enjoy Yoga
Before I actually tried yoga for myself I imagined it as a practice that taught you how to become a contortionist of sorts. Not only did I think yoga would be something I wouldn’t enjoy, but I also thought there was no way I could even do it. I was wrong about all of my preconceptions. Yoga has nothing to do with having life goals of becoming a contortionist. It is also very easy to learn and yoga is something everyone can do. And should do. The age range in my first actual yoga class was between twelve years old and sixty-seven. It is for everyone.
How My Yoga Practice Began
For a while, I attended yoga classes with a group that met in town and I really enjoyed those classes and the friends I made. But after a while the time it took to drive there and get back home was getting harder and harder to justify. I recognized this pattern. It’s how almost every gym membership I have ever had has ended.
Before I knew it I was attending classes less and less. Soon enough I saw those five pounds I had lost rejoin me. My lower back pain also returned. And I was feeling cranky and stressed out more often than I wasn’t. I decided for the sake of my body, my mental health, and my family I would try to find a way to practice yoga at home.
You Can Have A Great Yoga Practice From Home
When I started practicing at home I encountered a few obstacles. The first online instructors I encountered were brutal. I mean I really thought they were going to kill me. I had already learned that a gentle yoga practice was capable of increasing my strength drastically and reducing my stress levels big time. I couldn’t get behind these practices that felt more like CrossFit (which I despised). Also, I was paying for apps that I wasn’t really using because I couldn’t find an instructor that wanted to just enjoy the practice and find what feels good.
Until I found Yoga With Adriene. I consider my introduction to this yogi from Texas the actual beginning of my true yoga practice. Adriene lets you go at your pace and she has so many different lessons available that no matter what mood you are in, how you are feeling physically, or what time of day you land on the mat, she has something that is just what you need.
Adriene Mishler is an actress, writer, international yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas. On a mission to get the tools of yoga into schools and homes, Adriene hosts the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene, an online community of over 5 million subscribers.
And Now I Am That Yoga Girl
I love yoga. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I really don’t feel like heading to the mat. But I show up because I know even when I feel like I have nothing to give, that yoga has wonderful presents for me. I only have to show up. I get to feel good. My body gets a chance to show how awesome it is and how strong I can be and after you hit forty those moments start to have wider spaces between them.
And plus, I just feel so chill. It’s a thing where yoga lowers your cortisol levels and there is all this other science, but in the end, it just feels good to feel good. Also, I always sleep better on days when I have practiced. And I am happier in general. These are valuable things to me.
Yoga Flows And Overflows
When you have a great instructor like Adriene those lessons get absorbed and then they spill over into the rest of your life. For example, I got cut off in traffic the other day, almost sideswiped as the guy beside me was too concerned with his phone conversation to mind with his side mirror. Anyway, after almost being run off the road I was white knuckle gripping my steering wheel as steam poured out my ears. I was ready to let it rip when I heard myself say, “It all starts with the breath.” Which is what yoga teaches you. Adriene says that all the time. And so instead of cussing, I breathed my way back to peace and released my iron grip and did not allow my joy to be stolen.
Yoga flows. The practice itself is a flow. But the lessons and gifts it contains create a lovely overflow. And I know I am a better person because I show up on my mat. I am more comfortable in my skin. My pain levels are significantly decreased. I am kinder to my body. And easier and more relaxed to be around. And again, just happier in general.
If thoughts of turning yourself into a human pretzel are deterring you from giving yoga a try, I am asking you to cast those away and show up on your mat and just see for yourself what a difference yoga can mean for your life. It’s a really big difference and it doesn’t have to hurt or be painful or make you want to cry. It can beautiful. Something like a gentle dance. A slow good morning stretch. You work your way ahead as you want it. Yoga isn’t something that should force you out of your comfort zone, instead, it invites you to find your comfort zone, and bask in it. Go find it.
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