Yoga continues to help me as I recover from my brain injury but it’s not just for people who suffer from concussions. Here are 9 reasons you should start practicing Yoga today!
1. Relieves Stress
Everyone deals with stress in different ways but there are a few techniques that have been proven to help relieve stress like deep breathing and meditation. When you step onto the Yoga mat and commit to focusing on your breath and postures you enter that zone of letting everything else go and just focusing on the now. It also doesn’t hurt to step away from your phone and to do list for an hour or so.
2. Improves Flexibility
Yoga poses practiced regularly over time will help improve your flexibility just like regular stretching does. The great thing about Yoga is that there are variations for each level of flexibility so there are no limitations to getting a good stretch even for beginners.
3. Yoga Is For Every Body Type
Tall, short, skinny, curvy whatever your body type is there is, it doesn’t matter. Yogis come in all different shapes, sizes and skill levels. Just show up at the class or on your mat at home, take a deep breath and modify if you need to. It’s easy to see improvement through yoga the more you practice.
4. Strengthens and Tones Muscles
You don’t always need weights to build muscle. Your own body weight is all you need to strengthen and tone up through Yoga. Ever try doing 120 push ups in a single workout or hold a squat for minutes at a time? Some Yoga workouts can bring that type of intensity, it all depends on what you are interested in and you have the freedom to choose your Yoga style.
5. Prevents Injuries
It’s no secret that being flexible and having strong muscles around your joints prevents injuries and practicing Yoga will give you the added flexibility and strength you need to prevent injuries no matter what your sport is.
6. Pushes Your Limits
Yoga is perfect form of exercise to track improvements and set new goals for yourself. With tons of variations of each Yoga pose the limits are pretty much endless to what you can do as you continue to improve your strength and flexibility. You may look at a photo of someone doing something that appears to be an impossible Yoga pose one week and then surprise yourself after a few practices and be able to do that same pose yourself! Yoga is all about self improvement and pushing your limits. When you reach those mile stones that you thought you may never reach, the feeling is pretty great!
7. Energy Booster
I find that if I do Yoga early in the day I have a more productive day as a whole and I feel more energized and motivated throughout the day. This is because the breathing techniques used during Yoga can lower blood pressure, increase cardiovascular efficiency and aid in relaxation. Also, the stretching and poses used in Yoga practice awakens your body and mind setting you up to have a great day!
8. Allows Creative Freedom
Yoga is like art in a way that you don’t have to necessarily follow the rules. Instead you can make your own! If you are new to Yoga I suggest following along to an instructor but as you advance you will learn to come up with your own Yoga flows and use your creativity to develop your own style.
9. Improves Balance
Every try standing on one foot, stretching the other one back and then bending down and touching your toes? It’s harder than it sounds! But with a little yoga practice you will be able do to it in no time! Through a variety of Yoga poses it’s easy to improve your balance. By holding yourself up on one foot or doing arm balancing poses you learn to control your own body weight and push your balance to the limits. After my accident I was not even able to stand on one foot for more than a few seconds with my eyes closes. My balance was the worst that it’s ever been in my life but I credit Yoga for helping me build my balance back.
If you are completely new to Yoga don’t be intimidated by all of the fancy words for poses. With practice you will start to pick up on all of the names for everything and not have to look up at a screen or your instructor as much. I would say I’m still a beginner when it comes to Yoga but what I love most about it is being able to try something new and setting new goals each time I step on the mat.