Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Practice Yoga

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Practice Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice with origins stretching back thousands of years in India. It is designed to help achieve a more positive outlook on life and a focused, permanent sense of serenity and peace. The word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union’ and ‘union with the divine’; however, many people have stripped away the spirituality and focus of yoga so that most think of it as a group of intensely athletic people putting their legs behind their heads and curling up into jaw-dropping positions.

While that certainly happens, yoga has so much more to offer than flexibility and the idea of garnering a strong body. People of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities can do yoga and adapt it to suit their individual tastes and needs.

If you think yoga might not be for you, I urge you to reconsider. Here are five of my top reasons why you should start doing yoga.

Connection to yourself:  In the western world we are trained to always focus on the external world as opposed to internal reflection. One of the five observances or Niyamas of yoga, Svadhyaya, translates to the study of the self. Before we even step onto our mats we are encouraged to look inward to move past the distractions of our mind and everyday life.

Gain flexibility:  In Western physiological terms, “flexibility” is just the ability to move muscles and joints through their complete range.  It’s an ability we’re born with, but most of us lose over time due to sedentary lifestyles.  Through stretching the body, our muscles get the lubrication needed to increase elasticity.

Gain strength: Yoga enhances not only the flexibility of your muscles, but also aids in overall strength. Applying different stress to your muscles increases bones density and strength, which can prevent osteoporosis in women and aid the body in its aging process. Furthermore, it increases the overall function of the muscular, skeletal, digestive, and neurological systems of the body.

Improves your breathing:  An overwhelming large population of Americans live their life in a stress induced toxic frame of mind. Additionally, many health problems are linked to stress and overbreathing. Breathwork (Pranayama) is one of the eight limbs of yoga and an essential component of the practice. Yoga teaches students how to breath deeply and using the entire diaphragm and lung capacity. Proper breathwork aids students in enhancing their focus, increasing the amount of oxygen flowing to their extremities and also the brain. When it doubt, breath it out!

Improves your posture:  Yoga poses strengthen and open tight areas of the body like the shoulders and muscles of the upper back. This can help you keep good posture.

Ready to hit the mat?  Sign up for my yoga classes here.

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