7 Reasons to Try Yoga!
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Yoga is a mind and body practice designed to bring your awareness to the present moment, and also improve your physical health. Those unfamiliar with yoga generally associate it with "young spiritual females" (and some males too), however, this could not be farther from the truth. Yoga is for everyone, and practiced by all kinds of people varying in ages and background. In fact, basketball legend LeBron James credits his yoga practice for increasing his stamina, endurance, and focus!
Here are 7 reasons YOU should try yoga, regardless of your background, age, current health, religion, or current beliefs.
1- Emotional Health
The postures in a yoga flow are not random; they are designed to improve your mood, reduce stress, and release past negative emotions. It isn't uncommon to see tears or feel the need to cry during an intense yoga session- in fact, it's quite healthy to let it out!
If yoga was good only for improving your emotional health, it would be worth trying on this reason alone.
After a session of hot yoga, you can expect a feeling of peace & lightness which you don't normally experience throughout the day. Some people experience spiritual epiphanies or intense bouts of creativity following a yoga session. You may not experience these things, however, at the least, you WILL feel just a tiny bit lighter, a tiny bit happier, a tiny bit more relaxed. In our stressed out "go go go" world, taking the moment to breathe and self-care is so vital for long-term fulfillment and happiness.
Yoga improves your emotional health so much it's extremely valuable on this point alone, but if this doesn't satisfy here are some other reasons why you should try yoga...
2- Strength Building
Inverting, or holding your body upside down by your hands only, requires a ton of strength!
Don't worry, you won't be expected to do that on your first go at all. Most people take several months to improve in yoga, and that's OKAY. We are all at our own levels. Yogis are there for their own practice, not to compare themselves to others. That being said, those who practice yoga will notice an increase in strength as the months go on. While on paper it may seem simple to hold a pose and switch between one or two, it is actually quite difficult to transition and hold poses for the hour. As a result, you will notice that your strength builds rapidly!
Looking to get stronger? Try out some yoga!
In addition to holding tough poses, yoga is about increasing flexibility and stretching the body out. This helps you release endorphins, a pleasure chemical in the brain. With a more flexible body, you will be less prone to injury. You will also feel more relaxed, at ease, and free. The combination of strength & flexibility makes yoga a super powerful practice for those looking to improve their physical form.
4- Improved Focus
Yoga is not all about the body- in fact, it's more of a mental challenge than anything else!
In the midst of holding & switching tough poses in a hot yoga class, you will be demanded of a lot of focus; you have no time or capacity to let your thoughts wander off during a yoga class.
LeBron James, as well as other top-performing businessmen & athletes all, thank yoga for providing them with the endurance and ability to focus in intense situations. While there is a physical work out, there is also the meditate side of yoga, which improves your focus.
5- Reduce Pain / Heal
With all of this strength building and flexibility, it is only natural that chronic pain will reduce and you may notice yourself healing from past injuries. You will also prevent yourself from getting injured in the future because your muscles will be stronger!
This being said you should always consult a doctor if you have any doubts before taking up a yoga practice. Also, remember that yoga is not about competition or doing things perfectly all the time- instead it's about accepting yourself where you're at, and slowly improving.
6- Body Awareness & Acceptance
In today's social media world, it's easy to fall into self-hate or self-contempt, unfortunately. Photo editing has made the "ideal human" not human. The "ultra-beautiful" models we see are actually photo-edited and wearing layers of makeup; our natural bodies will never look like that. Yoga helps us accept ourselves for who we are, and to observe our own inner beauty.
In practicing yoga you must remain very aware of your physical body in order to complete each pose & transition. You will notice that there may be some sad feelings inside of you that you can then let go of during the practice. In doing so you will begin to love yourself for who you are. As you feel stronger and more flexible, the process will only accelerate.
Yoga is about self-love, not being a perfect ideal no one can attain. It is designed for people of all ages and sizes and colors, not a perfect type. All who wish to try are welcome, and will be accepted to a yoga practice.
7- It's Challenging... but Possible
Yoga is not near as easy as people imagine it to be. People are often astonished at just how difficult it is to complete 60 minutes of yoga. That being said, it's not impossible. You are also completely safe to take a moment to relax on your mat if the poses get too intense.
With time you will improve, and with this improvement, you will develop self-esteem and joy. Whether you are already very strong & flexible, or just beginning your journey inward, yoga offers a challenge for people at all levels... but also an improvement for everyone. Wherever you are, there is a practice for you that will help improve you from where you're currently at!