Yoga can easily be regarded as a physical exercise at first, but once you delve deeper into your yoga practice, Yoga is so much more, here is a personal list of the Benefits of Yoga to my well-being, and why it is such an important part of my routine.
My first yoga experience was when I did a quick Google search for yoga poses that eases back pain. Child’s pose, eagle arms, and downward facing dog were the first poses I tried, and miraculously, the back pain I was carrying for days started to ease up, and then went away.
Since then, I purchased yoga books and downloaded yoga apps ( my first one is Yoga Studio). I was amazed at how doing simple poses for several days improved my pain. But what first started as an exercise to me, a way to shed some pounds and ease some physical pain, started to become an integral part of my well-being- grounding me, relaxing me and allowing me to view life differently.
So, what you may ask, has yoga done for me, and why do I love it? Read on.
The Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga is like a massage to my joints and muscles. Yoga helps soften and open stiff muscles in your body. Until I tried yoga, I did not realize how certain parts of my body are craving movement. Specifically, the hip joints need so much love more than we realize. The side body needs that stretching. Yoga allows me to stir places in my body that are stuck and stiff. The result, I feel more flexible and light.
- Yoga Makes Me Stronger I have seen the evidence of this again and again, as I have given birth two times within the period of practicing yoga. And as you know, the body undergoes so many changes after giving birth. The strength in my arms, back, legs and core drastically drops. With safe and regular yoga practice, my body recovers and restores, and comes back even stronger than before. It is just fun to experience firsthand, how my overall strength improves with each practice.
- Improves My Posture. I used to slouch and I find it hard to maintain a long spine while seated. My shoulders are more often than not, hunched and rounded. As I continue to practice yoga, I now find great satisfaction in sitting with my spine straight, and I feel a delicious release when I throw my shoulders back instead of rounding them forward. Yoga has brought a sense of awareness as to how I carry my body.
- Calms my Anxious Mind and Eases my Worries. One of the things that yoga promotes is to observe the breath and to ground in the present moment. Over the years of practicing yoga, I learned to differentiate the anxious workings of the mind: worries, the anticipation of problems and re-living past experiences between the safety and simplicity of the present moment. The present moment is the only thing that is real. Yoga principles and yoga poses helped me to realize how staying in the present moment is important for my well-being.
- Gives Me Confidence. As my body begins to respond to the Asanas (poses), I feel a sense of confidence. As my body gains strength, I feel confident too. The embodiment of a pose goes well beyond the mat and into the day to day living.
- Helps me To Listen to My Body. In yoga, there is no need to push beyond your body’s capability. Rather than seeking to perfect the poses, yoga is all about learning to listen to what your body is telling you. When we learn to listen to our body, we give it the kind of movement it needs, and we feed it well.
- Yoga Teaches me to Ground myself in the Present Moment. Whenever I practice yoga, I focus on my body and the sensation it feels in the present moment. Yoga takes my focus off the mind- and its tendencies of worry and overthinking.
- Prepares me for the Day Ahead. Yoga is a vital part of my daily routine. I try to do it every day unless I am not really able to. It gives me the morning boost I need to tackle the day. It wakes my body, and increases my heart rate, making me feel so confident and ready for the day.
This and more reasons are why I love yoga so much. You see, not only it is an outer, physical practice, but yoga is also more of inner practice. To realize how the landscape of the mind directly affects the physical landscape in our daily lives.
Basically, it is well-rounded practice that benefits me in total: Mind, body , spirit. And I love that by doing yoga and deepening my practice, I am able to tend to my whole self in a way that is self loving and compassionate.