Yoga is for everybody. The common belief is that only those flexible enough to touch their toes or do a split are entitled to practice yoga. That is not true. Yoga is more than physical strain and mere exercise. It is the way of thinking and a philosophy through the breathing exercises and stretches with proven medical benefits.
Flexibility is not important for practicing yoga, nor is the strength and impatience. The only thing that matters is your will and resolution to start and try it. Although yoga can be physically and mentally challenging, it is still an excellent stress-relief even recommended by psychiatrists.
If you are still not convinced to start yoga, look at some reasons why you should.
1. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety
If you suffer from depression or anxiety, or you are regularly exposed to considerable amounts of stress, yoga is the perfect workout routine for you. The meditation will help you clear your mind while breathing techniques will calm you down and keep in the zone.
Today, everyone is under stress due to the pressure of contemporary work practices and lack of interpersonal relationships. Yoga will teach you how to love yourself and face challenges with an open mind. Once you learn how to look stress in the eyes and accept yourself just the way you are, the anxiety and depression will slowly start to fade away or become manageable.
2. Do as much as you can
Never make yourself do exercises, which are not agreeable to you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the movements you are unable to, rather that you should allow your body to adjust to the new routine. Be patient with yourself, and do little by little every day. Set a yoga goal and divide its realization into milestones.
For example, spend two weeks on exercises to gain more flexibility like touching the ground with your fingers between moderately stretched legs. Every strain you feel at the beginning will slowly disappear if you’re persistent and diligent with your workouts. However, if you push yourself too hard, you can fall back and ruin weeks of efforts because of the muscle strains and joint problems.
3. It’s an excellent workout
It may seem like more of a meditation form than exercise, but yoga is an excellent workout to get in shape. No matter the yoga type, you will always experience a workout-like routine. This is why it’s important not to put too much strain on your body in order to avoid injuries. There are routines and movements that will help you strengthen the muscles and even get a six-pack. On the other hand, if you want to gain flexibility and be more athletically built, you try some other types of workouts. It all depends on your time, goals and stamina.
4. You learn about your body
Knowing your body is very important so you can feel changes and notice alarming conditions. In addition, yoga will help you shape your body and tone it so the changes are noticeable and apparent. The whole idea of yoga is to dedicate yourself to movements and stretches which will allow you stay in tune with your body. Nevertheless, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see the effects and feel the benefits right away, or slower than other practitioners experience.
Each body is a story for itself so you should try to respect its limitations and take it slow. In time, you will know how your body moves, what it can do and how much pressure it can take to be more flexible and strong.
5. You start breathing correctly
Breathing exercises called pranayama are an important part of yoga. They help you be more focused and center your energy. The manner you breathe influences many aspects of your life. It affects your heart rhythm, concentration, adrenalin levels and helps you go through the stressful events more calmly. Yoga uses breathing techniques together with positions and movements, but you can try them on their own and see the benefits for yourself after a few weeks.
6. It helps you sleep better
Besides its many benefits, yoga will also help you get more quality sleep and feel rested. Studies on this matter showed that light physical activity before going to bed helps you fall asleep easily and more quickly. There are specific yoga postures and movements intended to help with this problem, but doing any ones will help too, according to the studies. Meditation is another aspect of yoga beneficial for getting enough hours of sleep every day. It’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep in the class because of the cool-down sequences and release from negative thoughts.
7. It improves your posture
Improper posture is very often today since many jobs require prolonged sitting or standing periods. After some time, you started slouching and experiencing back pains, which can quickly become chronic. This is all manageable with yoga and it will even make those back muscles stronger. Since not all positions are appropriate for people with back problems, consult with the physician and an instructor or start slow with practices. Don’t strain too much too quickly and be patient. Soon enough, you will have your figure back with proper posture and be in great physical shape.
8. You can do it anywhere
You probably saw people practicing yoga in the park or on the terraces. That is what makes yoga so great – you can practice it anywhere. Some luxury apartments, hotels and furnished and serviced apartments have yoga instructors and rooms especially designed to help you meditate and stay in shape. There are free yoga groups for senior citizens and even classes for children to help them grow properly.
If you want to find a yoga buddy, there is a variety of apps intended for that while some websites even call for participation in challenges. Lastly, the best thing about yoga is that you can practice it at home, it doesn’t require a lot of space and you can even do it naked.
It comes down to a decision to do something nice and positive for yourself that depends solely on your resolution. This is great because you don’t have to depend on anyone and fulfill anyone’s expectations but your own. Moreover, you will learn to love and respect yourself and your body in the process, which is something all of us should do, too.