I looked out the window this morning and it was beautifully sunny. I felt like I needed to go sit outside and just enjoy the day. I opened the door to check the temperature and a burst of cold air blew me back into the house. The sunshine made me feel like it must be warm outside. The beauty of the day was misleading, it is winter, and it is still cold. Many things are deceiving, how we perceive them is not always accurate.
Yoga looks like just stretching. But it’s much more than that. These are the eight magical things that happen when you do yoga.
· It is a way to change your mind and your body. Yoga teaches us compassion. As we move further into our yoga practice, we learn acceptance for ourselves. This change in our mindset about who we are and how we look, can change our life.
· It helps you to slow down. We live in a busy world. We rush from point A to point B. We look forward to next week. We wish spring or summer, or the holidays would get here faster. Yoga reminds us to stay in the present moment.
· It is a way to change your relationship with yourself and with others. Yoga helps you to be attentive and this helps us to listen to the people in our lives. We often find ourselves thinking and observing before we speak and react.
· It brings a sense of calm into your life. Calm where you may have held stress. This sense of calm because of yoga, can be attributed to the focus on the breath. In a yoga class we primarily use ujjayi breathing technique. This breathing takes us out of the sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response) and moves us into the parasympathetic (our rest and digest response).
· You can lose weight doing yoga. Yoga can be physically demanding. Yoga can also be calm and restorative. Yoga helps you to change your awareness of what you eat and how that effects your body. I have had students come to yoga for the stress relief and find their body gets in better shape as well.
· Yoga helps you to stay younger. It keeps you limber and strong. Yoga is a wonderful way to strengthen your body while increasing your flexibility. Yoga encourages you to maintain equilibrium in your moods. This helps to improve your circulation and slows your heart rate. We all need a good night’s sleep and practicing yoga can improve the quality of your rest. When we are rested, we just feel better.
· You find a community of people that support you. Humans are social animals. We enjoy being around people. Yoga provides a place of support and acceptance that is unique in this world.
· Yoga helps you become more grateful for your life and everything in it. It is a way to become more aware. When you practice yoga, you have a greater sense of the world around you. You notice things in your life. Yoga causes you to think more about your life and how you are living your life.
Yoga unites our mind and our body. There are many styles of yoga and all styles can help us live a better life. Regardless of which type you choose, yoga is a great way to strengthen your body, increase your flexibility and relax your soul.