The mention of yoga can have an array of responses from physically active individuals. Some people love the practice and view it as a philosophy. Some use it for the benefits of stretching, strengthening, and peace of mind. Some don’t want to touch it because they believe their body wasn’t made for it, or that practicing yoga instantly demands that you start chanting “Om,” carrying crystals, and using sage to clear your space. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am totally that yogi - the one who “Om’s” and such. However, I grew up in this western society and understand that we all have different lifestyles with different needs. That being said, yoga is beneficial regardless of the depth you take of it. Allow me the chance to convince you.
Working out in general is packed with benefits; it’s good for our mental health, physical health, and overall sense of wellbeing. Yoga is no different. In fact, practicing 10-30 minutes of yoga will instantly offer a sense of grounding; that’s the term I like to use in opposition of anxiety. Yoga can help to quiet your mind enough to truly notice the subtle messages offered up by your body. Messages like pain, stiffness, tingling, numbing, and more. We often learn to ignore these messages because in western society we must get the job done. No pain, no gain, right? Actually, dear friend, the truth is that pain often leads to injury. That is of course when you’re pushing too hard and too quick. Yoga can offer you the space to slow down.
By moving your body through the poses, or asanas, you start to notice sensations that you may have otherwise overlooked or never experienced. Each pose can help to stretch different muscle groups. Likewise, the practice can also help to build strength in muscle groups that have forgotten how to turn on.
So how about the mental aspect? Yoga is deeply connected to focusing on your breath. A deep inhale is coupled by a long exhale while moving in a compassionate way that helps your body to release tension and stress. By practicing mindful breathing, you can trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, which will aid in your digestion, release stress and anxiety, increase blood circulation, and help your body find homeostasis, i.e. balance. If the body feels good, the mind will follow. This means that by the end of your practice, you’ll experience that word that yogi’s throw around all the time- peace!
Next time you hit the gym or go for a bike ride or run, end it with a curious intention on your yoga mat. Book a one-one one yoga session, or check out our yoga videos and see for yourself. Release that lactic acid, anxiety, and pain with a nice glass of mindful movement. We also have a fantastic retreat coming up on August 30th, from 8 AM - 12 PM, which will be full of guidance on meditation, yoga, nutrition, cardio workouts, and so much more. Likewise, if you’re curious about chanting “Om,” crystals, and sage, I can help you out with that too!
In the meantime, stay healthy, stay active, stay curious, stay focused.