Are you looking for reasons to start practicing yoga? Though the list could go on forever, we wanted to share five. Yoga is proven to aid in cardiovascular health and flexibility, and it increases mind and body strength. Here are five core reasons to start practicing yoga.
Establish a mind-body connection
Most of us are continually experiencing a disconnect between what our bodies and our minds are doing. In yoga, we focus on the movement of our bodies and our breath, which allows us to be present-minded, and thus more self-aware. This way, we can view our thoughts more objectively to decide which thoughts do not serve our true selves to find a sense of inner contentment and peace.
Learn how to be present
In yoga, one of the reasons we flow through poses is to practice the idea of non-attachment. The postures help us learn not to stay stuck in the past or await the future. We learn how to pause, breathe, and then move on, finding body and mind awareness in each pose. Living in the present moment means we can lead a more focused and fulfilling life because we are truly soaking up the uniqueness of each moment.
Find more calm
Yoga connects us with our breath so we can consciously slow it down. When we exhale deeply, we activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers our heart rate and calms our bodies and, therefore, our minds. This explains why when we feel anxious, we tend to take shorter breaths or, why when we take shorter breaths, we become more anxious. Through exhaling and letting go of the breath, we experience a sense of relief as we let go of stress and tension.
Yoga utilizes body movement to learn and express gratitude. By moving your body in a particular way, you can learn to appreciate all of the things it can do for you. Not just in the sense of physical postures and exercise, but how being in those physical postures benefits you mentally and emotionally as well. Use your yoga practice as a time to recognize that you are doing great in your practice as well as in life. Be grateful that you have this vessel in which you can navigate and experience all elements of life.
Let go of control
In yoga, we have the opportunity to invite more ease and relaxation into our lives. The postures use the physical body to translate and promote these feelings. The poses can also be used as a way to seek acceptance for life as it is, and ourselves as we are. The postures help us to notice if we are criticizing ourselves, or trying to force things, so we can ultimately learn to do the opposite and let go. Through accepting our bodies, we can accept ourselves, and through accepting ourselves, we can be liberated.
With so many styles of yoga available, there is a practice out there for anyone. Yoga can be powerful, or it can be gentle, making it an excellent exercise for any age or fitness level. While one person’s practice may look different from the next, the benefits are widely the same, and more than worth the effort put in to achieve them.
Thinking about more reasons or you have practicing yoga for a while? Please share with us below in the comments section your thoughts.