With all the hype and media centered on yoga these days, you may have recently asked yourself this very question.Â Or perhaps you do practice yoga, and have been asked by a friend who’s intrigued by the wonders of this mysterious practice. Although the answer to this question is not an easy one, it can be simple. Not why, but why not? What do you have to lose!
As a certified Yoga Instructor, for me yoga = joy, balance, health, challenge, discipline, peace, reward, breath, meditation, relaxation, integrity, expansion, excitement and comfort all rolled into one. My mat is one of the only places I can go and almost 100% of the time feel at ease and purely joyful. Every time my body takes me a bit farther than I expected, the rush of excitement, reward and pleasure is indescribable. Not to mention the buzzing and bliss I feel during Savasana, or the way my body and mind feel after a great yoga practice.
Yoga is a workout for the mind, body and soul. It requires a mental challenge to listen to the instructor and maintain the proper actions in the poses in order to protect your spine and joints and maintain integrity in your body. It requires a physical challenge to hold the postures, and it never fails to amaze me how much it strengthens and tones my core and every muscle in my body! Most importantly however, I believe yoga provides an opening to our soul. It helps us connect, through our breath, to our higher consciousness and really feel the inner workings of our body and listen to our innate intuition.
When we take the time for ourselves, to nourish our body, mind and soul, we are repaid ten times over. Trust me, nothing beats it!!
If you’re still not convinced to try it, this may help. Below is a list of some of the physiological, psychological and biochemical benefits one can expect to receive from a consistent, weekly yoga practice. There are so manyâ€¦ that I had to narrow it down to my favourites!
- Balances your hormones, releases serotonin- your feel-good chemical! You will feel more satisfied in just a few minutes.
- Sculpts the whole body with a focus on thighs, glutes, back and shoulders.
- Stimulates circulation and lymph into your organs, so they work more optimally to detoxify you and help you lose weight.
- Releases lower back and hip tension and spinal pressure than can cause sciatic pain and disc injury.
- Increases your energy and keeps you humming all day long.
- Stabilizes your autonomic nervous system and improves sleep.
- Decreases blood pressure.
- Improves your mood and increases your subjective state of well-being, as well as increases self acceptance and self actualization.
- Decreases negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and hostility.
- Biochemical benefits include; a decreases in glucose, sodium, cholesterol and triglycerides in your body, decrease of LDL (bad) and increase of HDL (good), increase of vitamin C levels and decrease of your total white blood cell count.
WOW, pretty incredible isn’t it! I truly believe yoga is one of the most powerful and wonderful things we can add to our daily regime. Even 10 minutes of yoga practice to start your day has the power to alter everything about it in a positive way.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! Go check out your local yoga studios, sometimes they offer good introductory specials to let you try out their classes before buying a membership or passes. Most classes will offer modifications for beginners so it’s important to let the instructor know that you are new. Find a class that suits you and go for it!
I suggest beginning with in person classes so you can learn from an instructor how to properly and safely do the poses. Once you feel comfortable, I encourage you to develop your own home practice.