August 21, 2012

Why Do Yoga Girls Glow? ~ Christine Chen.


Hey girl, how’d you get that glow?

I’ve blocked a bunch of my guy pals from going to yoga classes just to hit on girls.  Go to class for you, I say, not just to meet a girl.  However, the yoga demographic is a little bit like catnip for some of them, who imagine they’ll meet a Christy Turlington–type just by hanging out at a studio.

Think about the perception, which is often the reality for yoga studios/classes:

>> A general ratio of women–to–men that is favorable to men;

>> Women who are health and body conscious in small amounts of clothing;

>> Women who are wearing minimal makeup;

>> A culture of openness, friendliness and kindness to others,  making introductions fairly easy;

>> No beer goggles or texting, but bona fide, sober face-to-face conversation.


That said, men are visual creatures, and many of them have even laid it out bluntly, asking me why it is that “yoga girls” are so cute?  (This is not breaking news as a stereotype–see Fog and Smog video: Yoga Girl.)

My response to them:  it’s probably the “yoga glow.”

So, how do you get this yoga glow?   What is it?

It’s not just a matter of the dewy complexion derived from sweat post-class.  It’s not just the butt-lifting yoga pants.  It’s the fusion of both the physical and mental benefits from yoga that leave women (and also men) with a “glow.”

One of yoga’s key benefits is its ability to shift your thoughts from the negative to the productive and/or positive, better known as “stress relief.”  While this is an internal process, the external, outward–facing manifestation leads to qualities that society generally deems pleasing to the eye and the opposite sex.

 Yoga helps you cultivate:

>> Lightness. Deep, yogic breaths are said to release toxins from the body and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), the part of the body that calms you down.   Those who practice yoga hone their ability to “let go,” and “relax,” so they leave class lighter, less weighed down by unnecessary stress and negative thought.  So, what’s more attractive?  A body and mind weighed down by stress or a body and mind outwardly emanating a sense of breeziness?

>> Serenity. That same yogic breathing naturally irons out a furrowed brow.  Over time repeated engagement of the PNS literally puts you in a calmer state more often, which is known as the “relax” and “restore” response to life.  Not only could you relax that furrowed brow but over time, you might save yourself the creation of permanent, deeper creases and wrinkles that aren’t necessarily related to wisdom.

>> Poise. Yoga works the body and the mind to mellow out tension in the body, building strength and better posture along the way.  It also balances subtle energies, which are said to correspond to endocrine glands and hormones.  When everything’s working, in sync and balanced, your happy bodily systems beam outward.  You could potentially walk a little taller, with more grace and composure.

>> Confidence.  Yoga emphasizes gratitude for subtle shifts and growth in your practice.  When you shift your thinking toward what your body and mind can do rather than what it can’t, you begin to see yourself in a brand new way.  Rather than beating yourself up over poses or anything else in life, you might begin to appreciate yourself more, which builds confidence.  And, haven’t we all heard that radiating confidence (but not arrogance) is sexy?

The yoga glow doesn’t happen overnight.  However, that dewy complexion from your first few yoga sweat sessions might be the first sign that the deeper benefits of yoga are beaming outward from your evolving physical and energetic being.

Don’t thank me if your social life gets better.  Thank yourself.  Thank yoga.

Christine Chen is a two-time Emmy winning, 10-time nominated broadcast journalist, turned small business owner, turned yoga teacher in New York at community-focused NY Loves Yoga and at nationally-recognized fitness provider, David Barton Gym. She met her husband after weeks of intense meditation in Asia, where she cultivated a greater sense of clarity and calm – and built upon her “yoga glow.” Christine writes about yoga and wellness.  Soon, she will release a yoga guidebook for busy people, based on the personal yoga practice she developed during her own healing and transformation (represented by Zachary, Schuster & Harmsworth).  Off the mat, Christine is a wife, golden retriever mom, and Microsoft’s corporate web caster on tech topics. Web: christinechenyoga.com Twitter: @christinechen_  Facebook:  ChristineChenYoga

Editor: Edith Lazenby

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