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Why Do Yoga?
May 14, 2018
(Photo by Mitch Reyes)
The short answer is that yoga makes you feel better. Practicing the postures, breathing exercises and meditation can make you healthier in body, mind and spirit...but if you need more of an excuse heres a list of a few other reasons you should join a class with me today!
Everyone suffers from mild anxiety from time to time, and I’m not just talking about stressing over what outfit to wear on a Saturday night (although granted this is a genuine issue for most of us girls). Yoga can help you to access an inner strength that allows you to face the sometimes overwhelming fears, frustrations and challenges of everyday life. In other words Yoga forces you to ‘take a chill pill’. Watching the difference Yoga makes in your day to day life, your interactions with other people and outlook on life is what keeps us Yogis coming back for more!
Believe me I have had my fair share of injury, and I know how draining and debilitating it is to live with chronic pain, as a yoga teacher that’s a hard one to admit given we are suppose to be super in tune with our bodies with special yogi superpowers (ok maybe not). But we are all human, and it’s human nature for us to push our body to the limits without even knowing the pressure we are putting it under.
The best techniques for pain management are focus on breathing, relaxation, and meditation. Through these techniques it is possible to distract your mind from the pain you are experiencing, reduce the bodies tension, and potentially let go of your resistance to the pain. Easier said than done but they do call it a practice for a reason.
I breathe all day every day why do I need someone to teach me? The reality is that most of us actually forget how to breathe properly, we tend to take these short shallow breathes when we are under a lot of pressure or in high paced environments and it’s not until we get on our Mats and give ourselves permission to breathe properly that we realise we have been depriving ourselves of the optimum amount of oxygen needed for our bodies to function properly.
Yes wrapping yourself into a pretzel could potentially be a great party trick. But for most of us that is an unattainable goal and shouldn’t be the end goal we are striving for in our practice (side note there should be no end goal in yoga). Even as a dancer I have always had to work on my flexibility, it’s never come super naturally to me so I know how it feels to not be able to touch your toes some days, but one thing I have noticed is when I’m more flexible in my body it makes every day tasks so much easier and enables me to do cross training without injury.
Better Body Alignment
Posture can play a huge role in back pain, neck aches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and a variety of other conditions, and here again your yoga can be very helpful. In the modern world, where people spend a large percentage of their days sitting at desks or staring at computer screens or TVs, it’s common to round the back and hold the head well in front of the spine. Think about the amount of time you spend in front of any screen during the day and then think about your yoga practice as the counter pose for all this hunching.
Focus On The Present
The present moment holds the key to liberation, and really it’s the only place where life truly exists. But you can’t find the present moment as long as you are caught up in your mind which most of us are. Our yoga practice asks us to draw attention onto breath and movement connection, which in turn brings us back into the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle say ‘ life is now, there was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be’.