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10 Reasons to Give Yoga a Go

During my yoga teacher training, I was required to fulfill a certain amount of teaching hours. Since this was primarily for practice purposes, the classes were free and I had to recruit students among family and friends. Most of my participants hadn’t practiced yoga before or didn’t have a regular yoga practice, which was great, as it offered me a fresh perspective on working with yoga beginners.

While I was able to get a small crew together for each class (only rarely having to resort to bribes and blackmail), one thing that surprised me was that every time I would send out an invite, I would hear a bunch of reasons from my invitees on why they “couldn’t” practice yoga. I heard people voice all sorts of concerns regarding why they didn’t want to give yoga a try — some common ones being a lack of flexibility, never having done yoga before, being “too old” or afraid to get injured, that yoga simply wasn’t for them, and so on.

The truth is, it was interesting for me to hear each person’s reaction, as I understand it’s natural to have fears and doubts about something we’re not familiar with. Even if just a little, we all tend to be a bit intimidated by the unknown, often letting nagging doubts creep in and stop us from trying something new.

So to refer back to my yoga classes, while adjustments should certainly be made for various physical ailments, I knew each and every one of my friends and family members were capable to go safely through a class, because as one of my mentors reminds me all the time, I truly believe “yoga is for everyone.” And even though I’ve always known that to be true, the phrase never fully clicked for me as much as it did when I heard a few of the common reasons my friends offered not to practice.

So after thinking about this for a while, I decided to put together a few of the many reasons to try yoga. If you are looking for some motivation to try it for the first time, or even go back to the mat for another outing, check some of the amazing benefits of a regular yoga practice:

1. Body strength

A physical yoga practice is compiled of asanas (postures). Most every asana focuses on strengthening a specific part of the body, and just one session of yoga would be enough to use every muscle in the body, from head to toe, increasing body awareness and strength.

2. Mindfulness

The practice of yoga increases the focusing of the mind while in the poses, creating awareness on the present moment by being mindful of each movement of the body. This awareness improves coordination, memory and reaction.

3. Stress relief

Cortisol is the stress hormone, and relaxation exercises help reduce its levels. Yoga encourages relaxation and the constant practice of such exercises will help reduce conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, depression, fatigue, and will also boost the immune system.

4. Pain relief

Scientific studies have proven that practicing yoga has reduced pain among people dealing with cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, back pain, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia, among others.

5. Weight control

The practice of yoga is good for the digestive system, aids self-esteem, reduces stress and cortisol levels by burning excess calories, and encourages healthier choices in general – all of which aid in weight management efforts.

6.  Breath control
The practice of mindful breathing exercises improves lung function, increasing the amount of oxygen in the body. Keeping a steady breath throughout the day supports the respiratory system and aids relaxation.

7. Flexibility and mobility

By using the correct muscles during asana practice, the body increases flexibility and mobility, which is lost most of the time because of a sedentary or overworked lifestyle. Flexibility increases the necessary elasticity to prevent injuries caused by jerking tight muscles.

8. Cardiovascular improvement

Yoga can also improve the blood flow and make arteries and veins more elastic. Yoga can help reduce stress, a major contributor to heart disease.

9. Improved digestion

Yoga can improve the digestive system functions, which are responsible for the absorption of nutrients. Many yoga poses massage the internal organs, aiding digestion and improving the function of all digestive organs.

10. Improved relationships

A regular practice of yoga can improve your overall disposition and mood, reflecting in your relationships. Helping you tune in to yourself can improve your outlook on things, relationships and life altogether.

I hope these points give you a reason to get on the mat, tune in and let the magic begin!

“Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal.”
Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, Father of Ashtanga Yoga.

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Medical and Site Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Cinthia Torres, and Veda Media, LLC. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. © 2018 The Health Bits