02 May 8 Reasons Why Yoga is Worth Doing
I’m sure most of you have had the inner dialogue about yoga before: “This year I’ll finally start doing yoga”, “Yoga is only for women..” or my favourite: “but I’m not flexible enough”.
Can you nod yes to the above? And can you genuinely say, hand on your heart, that it hasn’t just been excuses upon excuses continually, that’s been the reason why you still haven’t tried yoga or incorporate it weekly into your exercise routine?
Or, maybe you’re a super keen yoga-bean that’s practising every-day but just want to delve further into the why of yoga?
Well, let’s take a look at my 8 Reasons Why Yoga Is Worth Doing.. Buckle up!
1. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety
The conscious link between the mind & body that we create when we practice yoga, uses a combination of physical poses, controlled breathing, and relaxation techniques that has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which help control our stress-levels and thus regulate our anxiety-levels, too.
2. Yoga can help with depression
Practicing yoga regularly, can help reduce symptoms of depression. In a study out of Alliant University in San Francisco, looked at the effects of Bikram yoga on a group of women between the ages of 25 and 45 found the following results: When these women practiced twice per week for two months, their depression symptoms decreased. “These studies suggest that yoga-based interventions have promise for depressed mood and that they are feasible for patients with chronic, treatment-resistant depression,” said Vollbehr.
3. Yoga can change your life
Do you feel like there’s more to life, than what you’re currently experiencing? That’s because there is.. Getting onto your mat and out of your head can be the highlight of your day. When we step onto our mats, and leave the world at the doorstep, the mat becomes your therapist, your sanctuary, your safe haven to find peace and quiet from all of the chaos and anxiety rattling around in your brain. Your yoga practice will soon begin to embody the life you never knew was simply waiting for you. Just take that step onto the mat; the hardest part is getting on to it, the easy part is when you arrive.
4. Yoga can help with weight loss and toning of the muscles
It’s a common misconception that yoga isn’t a type of exercise that will condition your muscles and help you become stronger. Yoga lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that prompts your body to collect belly fat. By using natural body weight and resistance, the discipline also helps build lean muscle and creates definition. Practice hot yoga or vinyasa and you will quickly see how hard the body works during a class.
5. Yoga will help you detox
Yes, it’s true. Certain poses, especially those of twisting the spine, are great for our bodies and to help eliminate the toxins that will build up inside. Poses can help stimulate your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems, helping you rid your body of build-up waste.
Poses for detoxification includes:
- Revolved Chair Pose
- Revolved Triangle Pose
- Plow Pose
- Supine Spinal Twist
- Seated Spinal Twist
- Revolved Side Angle Pose
- Revolved Half Moon
- Eye of The Needle
6. Yoga helps you find strength in your vulnerability
Many people like structure and predictability and consistency. Adversity can challenge all of these things. Yoga can push you in positive ways that address being strong, while still being vulnerable. The variety of poses calls for aspects of adapting to your body’s needs. This level of awareness you build through yoga training, is incredibly healthy and beneficial.
You may challenge your focus and endurance in given poses and throughout yoga training. This teaches you perseverance and focus on each and every breath, and believing in your progress with steady commitment. Adversity understandably brings pain, and this can make you shut down, or it can encourage you to be more open. Which do you choose?
7. Yoga will help you become more flexible
I know you’re thinking, that you won’t ever be able to do Pose x and definitely neither Pose xxx.. However, please try not to listen to your mean voice inside of you, that is only there to bring you down..
Inevitably, if you continue a steady yoga-practice, you will become more flexible with time. Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion, along with working your cardiovascular system, resulting in long, flexible and wide-range motion muscles and joints.
8. Yoga helps you cultivate perspective and give thanks
The more adversity we experience, the more relatively calm we are about life experiences as they come forth. This is not to encourage desensitization but to emphasize with perspective, some very strong coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms are a form of strength found through perspective.
This perspective leads to showing a lot of thanks for simplicity. As you go through your yoga practice, you will have a different perspective and appreciation for the practice after consistent commitment. There are times when the workout may be challenging, however you will feel great for pushing yourself. Your perspective changes from not knowing whether you can push through, to it being the best choice you could have ever made. Be patient. Stay simple.
Did you know all of these things about yoga, or is it already something you’ve incorporated into your life?
For me; I’ve practiced yoga for about 5 years now. And I can wholeheartedly say that yoga was a big catalyst and saviour in changing my life for the better.
Yoga, for me, has become a natural integration in how I live my life. It comes and goes in waves; at times it’s very present and I’ll practice every day, and at times, it’ll only be once or twice a week. I know, and trust, that my yoga-practice ebbs and flows, just as my life does.
For quite a few years, I’ve been wanting to deepen my yoga-practice and further understand the philosophy and history behind this practice and way of life. This year, I finally decided that 2018 would be the year where I’d be doing my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. As soon as I actually made the promise to myself and sent it out into the Universe, I was led to getting my desire granted.
I’ve practiced with Power Living for 4 years. It is like a second home to me, and I treat it like family. Therefore, I couldn’t think of a better place than to do my Yoga Teacher Training than with the family and place of where it all began 4 years ago.
Article by Caroline Groth