The benefits of yoga extend far beyond just the physical: strength, flexibility & greater balance in our bodies. With regular practice we find ourselves noticing the non-physical benefits, the physiological, emotional & spiritual benefits for our hearts and minds.
When I first began practicing yoga I remember wanting to recreate the feeling I had after class. The feeling that my body was stretched and open and my mind was calm and quiet. As I continued to further my own practice & became a certified instructor; I learned how the practice of Asana, Pranayama & mediation improved my overall well being. Sharing my experience with others through teaching has been a wonderful gift. Having three young daughters, life can be a bit chaotic and stressful at times and yoga helps me to re-center myself and my girls! Here area few ways yoga positively impacts other aspects of life, other than just being a wonderful physical exercise for the body.
Yoga improves memory and concentration. Dharana is the practice of focusing the mind on one point. During yoga we use the practice of Dharana to remove distractions and turn inwardly, helping to improve our concentration. Yoga also teaches us patience. In todays world we are very used to immediate gratification. We have information at our fingertips. In Yoga, we learn that it takes time for our bodies and minds to open, and it happens with both practice and patience. Yoga is not something you ‘achieve’ but instead something you receive. Over time, a pose that may have at first seemed impossible becomes attainable as we allow ourselves to be patient with our bodies. We learn that everyone is different and not to compare ourselves to others. It is a beautiful thing!
Yoga helps improve overall mental wellness. The postures and breathing we offer throughout yoga help release tension from the body, which in turn relaxes the mind. Yoga lowers blood pressure, heart rate and improves respiration. Having a stressful day?, take a yoga class or offer even just a few poses at home & you will feel more relaxed and a ease. Yoga teaches us to challenge ourselves and face up to our fears. Yoga helps us to step outside our comfort zone & try something new. Attempting a new pose helps us to discover that we are stronger and more capable than we may have given ourselves credit for. Even if at first we can not do the pose in its fullness we realize we can accept the challenge of learning something new about ourselves. This is why yoga is called a practice - we are continually practicing, there is no real ‘end result’, we are always changing, transforming and learning more about ourselves during our yoga practice!