The more I chat with others about yoga and all the benefits the more I am realizing the image around yoga. That it hurts and it’s a lot of work. But what if it didn’t have to be? Yoga is so much more than just physical activity but comes with so many added benefits! Yoga is so enjoyable when you just let loose, stop worrying, and just be the you, you are. The real authentic you!
As an art form, yoga is not a religion, nor a form of exercise, but a lifestyle. Yoga is a way of life that focuses on achieving a healthy mind and body. It is meant to help a person rise above their ego, let go, be presence, and reach enlightenment. You get to experience Oneness. Oneness with the entire Universe. UNITY!
Not about how high your leg can go or how far you can reach. It’s about being present, connected to yourself, and offering yourself love, kindness, and grace.
I am so thrilled to teach you all about yoga! This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.
Why is yoga so important?
Yoga brings us to a peaceful state for our mind, body, and soul, if we allow it to, without getting in the way. Our world is so fast paced, we are always so busy, and we aren’t seeing all the beauty that is around us each and every day. We are just going through the motions and not realizing that life is passing us by. Plus, all these “convenience” food choices that we have on every corner is not helping any part of our mind, body, and soul!
Yoga is vital to maintaining a positive outlook and to remain physically healthy. Practicing yoga improves our focus, helps with concentration, sharpens our memory, improves our posture, and boosts creativity. If we want to maintain a positive mindset and our fitness, yoga is a must.
Yoga brings you back home. To your soul as you are present in that moment. You are listening to what your body is saying to you and hearing and grooving with what your incredible temple (body) is telling you! 5 to 10 minutes a day has so many incredible benefits! It doesn’t have to be a long hour or two class to reap the rewards. Just a decision, dedication, and consistency.
Yoga can help strengthen our mind and muscles, create stamina, boost our immune system, and improve our mental health.
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The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a spiritual and physical discipline that originated in India. In Sanskrit, the word yoga means “to join” or “to yoke.” Yoga is a way to connect our body, mind, and soul and we practice it to find balance and peace in our lives.
There are many benefits to practicing yoga such as: strengthening and toning muscles, improving flexibility, improves balance, increasing stamina, relieving stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, reducing chronic pain (supports joint health), teaches us how to breath better, invites calmness into our lives, increases self-confidence, and promotes general wellness.
Yoga also has many benefits on mental health such as: lowering blood pressure, increases energy, boosts your mood, increases productivity, increased self-awareness, reducing depression symptoms, and anxiety levels.
Yoga is a spiritual practice that is done with the intention of improving oneself. To tap into and be presence for. It doesn’t matter if you are the best athlete in the world, if you have an injury, or just want to be healthier. Yoga has something for everyone.
Self-knowledge and self-realization can be attained through the inclusion of Yoga in our daily lives. Other qualities that we can acquire are discipline, positive thinking, perseverance, compassion, aligning with our purpose, and kindness.
Strengthens and Tones Muscles
Yoga poses often require you to disperse your body weight in new interesting and sometimes challenging ways, such as standing and balancing on one leg or using your arms to support yourself just to name a few.
While doing these poses consistently and holding them for several breathes will help you build the muscles and tone those babies up along with building your endurance and confidence.
Yoga helps you develop long, lean muscles in your legs, arms, back, and abdomen too.
Looking to expand your yoga mat collection? Check these mats out
3 Yoga Poses for Strengthening and Toning
Let me just bust a myth for you right here. As I continue to show up, teach, and chat with others, I am beginning to notice others saying things such as “oh I am not in shape to do yoga”, “I am not flexible”, “There’s no way I can do that”, which saddens my heart because anyone and everyone can do yoga!
Flexibility will increase in your hamstrings, shoulders, hips, and back as time goes on. That’s why we show up consistently and as time goes on, you will start noticing breathing, poses, and postures are getting easier and easier. You just need to stick with it while also listening to what your body is telling you!
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Please do NOT push your body into something it is telling you not to! There is a fine point of strengthening and stretching, but it should never be forced! Your body will let you know what is ok to do and what is not. We are in a different spot each and every day, so things are going to be easier some days while a bit more challenging other days and THAT’S OK.
Allow yourself some grace and focus on what went right and not what you couldn’t do! We have all been conditioned in a way that we need to unlearn everything we know, to relearn the way it should have been taught in the first place! Give yourself some love, grace, and acknowledge just how incredible you truly are.
3 Yoga Poses you can try now for flexibility
Balance is one of the most important benefits of yoga, especially the older you get.
Balance is a thing I always joked about in high school and college. I either had great balance or no balance at all and being a dance major always made me smile. I could trip over my feet all the way to dance class and then start dancing and have all the balance and grace there was. LOL
Yoga Journal excerpt on the scientifically proven way to build balance
“When we think about balance, we often envision holding a picturesque Half Moon or Tree Pose, but falls don’t usually happen when you are standing still or in a steady state or pose, but rather when you are moving, transitioning, or adjusting. The key to building balance, coordination, and preventing injury from falling as we age is in mastering transitions and developing power.”
“In partnership with the University of Miami, we have studied the muscle utilization patterns of different yoga poses. We learned which muscles are actually being used and how active they are during each pose. For example, in electromyography (EMG) study, which records electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles, the more activated the toes in standing poses, the greater the lower leg muscle activity, therefore targeting the primary balance muscles. As a result of this kind of data and innovation, we created a sequence scientifically proven to increase balance and prevent falls.”
Need a little help? No worries there. I always make sure I have a block and strap available at all times. We are in a different spot each day so sometimes our body is saying, “yes, I will take a little help and assistant today.” That’s when I allow myself grace and use the extras!
3 Balancing Yoga Poses you can try
A person’s stamina is the strength and energy they need to perform physical activates for a prolonged period of time. When you are trying to accomplish something or are faced with a difficult situation, stamina is necessary.
By practicing yoga regularly, you will increase your endurance levels considerably. Being consistent and doing the right exercises is key. You may experience a higher level of concentration and focus after a nice yoga session, along with higher energy levels.
Yoga will teach you how to move effortlessly and flawlessly while balancing and stabilizing your body. There are a variety of yoga exercises that improve endurance, flexibility and mobility.
3 Yoga Poses for Stamina
Relieves Stress and Anxiety & Invites Calmness into our Lives
Practicing yoga just brings the calm, tranquility, and just makes you feel so much better! It invites us to let go of the to do’s or future plans and events and allows us to be presence and connect with ourselves.
We get to concentrate on what our bodies are doing which allows us to stay in the now and helps bring calmness into our lives.
Yoga isn’t just postures and poses, but also brings in meditation, breathwork, and visualization which again calms us down and lets us disengage from our thoughts.
3 Yoga Poses for Stress, Anxiety, & Calmness
Did you know yoga can also help you balance your chakras?
Learn more about your chakras- A complete Guide to your 7 Main Chakras
Improves Sleep Quality
Doing yoga on a regular basis allows for better sleep quality but also Yoga before bed is also a great way to drift off to sleep. Yes, there are restorative yoga poses that you can do before bed that will allow you to just drift away to la-la land.
People who practice yoga can return to homeostasis quicker than those who do not because the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) can assist you in getting to sleep faster and staying asleep.
3 Poses for better sleep
Reduces Chronic Pain (supports joint health)
By practicing yoga, our joints move freely, strengthening the muscles around them and helping them to stabilize. Joint mobilization enhances the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, enabling a smooth and healthy movement of the bones, thus promoting the health of the joints. Fresh oxygen and nutrients are also delivered to joint cartilage by synovial fluid in order to restore joints.
3 Yoga Poses for Joint Support
Teaches us How to Breath Better
Yoga also incorporates breathing into your routine. We are not taught how to breathe properly and that can take a toll on the quality of life we live! As humans, we tend to take our breath for granted because it is an automatic function, but we need to incorporate different breathing techniques and make sure we are belly breathing to reap the benefits!
We can restore our body’s balance and the health of our minds by using different breathing techniques. By controlling our breathing, we can increase our energy levels as well as relax our muscles while decreasing Stress, anxiety, and depression. According to studies, regular practice of yoga can improve the lungs and breathing capacity of adults, as well as those who suffer from asthma.
Four different breathing techniques you can try today!
- Wim Holf (this man has changed how I view breathing and his story is heartfelt)
- Ujjayi Breath (calms nervous system)
- Cooling Breath (long, slow, deep breathing that calms and cools the body)
- Equal Breathing (calms and promotes focus)
Who has ever left a yoga class feeling on top of the world, like nothing could touch you! I know I have, and I try to thrive for that in every single yoga class I take and teach!
Yoga improves your mind-body connection and allows you to enjoy the presence moment, connecting with your true authentic self. During yoga, we learn small subtle movements that improve our alignment, making us more aware of our body while also allowing us to observe with no blame, shame, or guilt.
The more you do yoga, the easier it becomes, which allows your confidence to rise as you get more and more comfortable with the practice.
Leave your mind at the door and truly allow yourself permission to explore you in new and exciting ways! Acceptance and self-compassion are two of the most important qualities one can learn while practicing yoga and can have a profound effect off the mat, in other areas of your life, as well.
3 Yoga Poses for Confidence
Promotes General Wellness
If you did not know, our bodies are absolutely incredible at healing, given the right support! Our bodies are natural healers and practicing yoga consistently will help aid the body in the healing process.
Practicing mindfulness has an effect on our immune system, which makes our body more capable of fighting disease and restoring health. In addition, yoga strengthens and lengthens the muscles, thereby improving function and mobility and assisting the body in recovering from physical injuries.
Our sleeping patterns also improve when our mind is at peace, ultimately enhancing our wellbeing. Our heart also benefits because yoga is said to improve circulation and blood flow!
Now what’s stopping you from ENJOYING Yoga?
Yoga is fun, playful, and extremely beneficial so let’s start exploring how it is helping us and what benefits we are feeling. Take notice, bring that awareness up, and start tuning into what your temple (body) is telling you! It doesn’t have to be as hard as we are making it! Just relax, let go, and take a nice deep breath in!
Tell me: Where are you in your yoga practice & how can I help?
👉Need some flows for your yoga practice?
I am doing FREE Classes every Saturday morning in the Woogle Community on Facebook and also doing yoga flows in my group Mind, Body, Soul Connection: A Soulful Community for Light Warriors
I would love for you to join us and experience a yoga life that you love!
👉Interested in BUSTING those limiting beliefs and learning and aligning the chakras?
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