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November 23, 2021

Benefits of Yoga: 7 Reasons to Bend it like a Pretzel.

 

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When recently asked, “What’s so good about yoga?” I was perplexed for a moment. 

I thought to myself, what a great question—what is so good about yoga

I mean, after years and years of practice, I still get tripped up in life, whether it’s from work-life balance, mindset, personal, health, fitness, finance, family, friends, clients, and students. The myriad of a thousand things that can generate a “good” or “bad” day. 

I started considering this lovely question that was posed to me by a dear friend. I’m confident many of my students ask themselves these same questions before committing to their practices every time they meet their mats.

I remember the first time I stepped onto a yoga mat at the ripe and proud age of 15 years old. I thought I knew everything, but little did I know how much that time was part of forming me into who I am now. It was a Power Yoga class, also known as Pilates, and the teacher was lean, friendly, and committed to helping us feel better.

She continued to refer to our breath as the driving force in our class, and a few times, as the force that we could come back to in life. I practiced purposefully that day, committed to creating a good, hearty sweat. As I knew it then, that was the benefit of yoga, getting in a great workout, but that was not even close to what yoga was truly all about.

I’ve found over the years that yoga has brought me many things, and yes, although I too love a great sweat workout, and I love a good pretzel time, let me confess that yoga is indeed a necessity for our optimal health and wellness. 

I have learned that yoga offers much more than a good pretzel twist here and there, and of course, the icing on the cake is the flexible party tricks we can do that are popular at all the events. 

The true benefits of yoga are vast, and below are a few bonuses I’d like to share:

1. Focus.

Yoga, much like forms of meditation, encourages us to focus on the present moment. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice yoga and meditation regularly are less distracted by their thoughts.

2. Lung capacity—breathe.

Yoga’s emphasis on posture and deep lengthened breaths improves lung capacity, efficiency, and overall airflow, which can dramatically reduce the severity of asthmatic attacks and other breathing issues.

3. Core strength.

With a strong core, we receive better posture and overall body strength. A strong core helps heal and reduce injuries.

4. Back health.

Alignment and body awareness during yoga practice have been shown to reduce numerous types of acute and chronic back pain, including scoliosis, sciatica, and herniated discs.

5. Sexuality.

Hey, stud or goddess. Yoga can drastically improve one’s sexuality through better control, more relaxation, and self-confidence. Oh, did I mention the orgasm? Yup, those get better too! 

6. Depression and anxiety.

It is said by some that the negative feelings that we may be repressing are brought to the surface during some yoga postures. When this occurs, the negative energy is no longer stagnant or stuck within us but released through the asana (posture). Regularly releasing this negativity may lead to a reduction of depression and anxiety.

7. Calmness.

Ahhh, Namaste indeed. Concentrating so intently on what one’s body is feeling and doing as the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga can be subtle and a way to introduce meditation, mindfulness, and intentional breathing techniques that can assist us in being more relaxed, clear-headed, and mindful. Observing how we breathe and discerning thoughts after meditation provide direct positive benefits of such practice. This practice reduces stress and discomfort, bringing harmony to mind.

If we’re looking for more than the simple touch our toes trick, yoga can do our body, mind, and spirit good.

Share a thought below and be sure to let me know your experience, or maybe we’ll both be at the same party!

~

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