18 Reasons Everyone Should Try Yoga No Matter How Old You Are

18 Reasons Everyone Should Try Yoga No Matter How Old You Are

Going to yoga can improve your way of life and inner self on the day to day basis. Everyone should try it at least once. It really is worth it.

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There has been a stigma around yoga and why you should try it. At first, I was skeptical about trying it, but once I was introduced to it I wanted to continue going every week. It helps change your mentality, view of life and yourself. There are many benefits that come with yoga, whether it be a sense of calmness, balance to your crazy life, or just being relieved from stress. Anyone at any age can impact from the practice. It will take time, patience, and dedication but it will be worth it. When you read this list you will wonder why you did not try it any sooner.

1. It's the biggest stress reliever

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As a college student, stress is like second nature to some if not all. Going to yoga has taught me to cope with my stress. Every time I walk into the studio I leave my stress at the door. There is something about it that helps my mind just relax and not think about anything.

2. It increases your balance

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Trust me when I say this, but I am the least balanced person. Always have been. Yoga has taught me to gain that balance that I never had. It is a slow process, but it does do wonders.

3. It makes you stronger

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Along with strength training, yoga does improve your strength, with all of the different moves you gain strength as you learn and advance through the difficulties.

4. It helps manage back pain

With yoga, the poses target your back muscles to release the tension that is held throughout your day to day life. The core will get stronger and will help with preventing your back pains and injuries.

5. It aids with anxiety and depression

With the practice of yoga, your anxiety will be relieved for the longer you practice. It can promote relaxing your body.

6. It increases your motivation and concentration

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Being on the go and being everywhere it is hard to concentrate and be motivated for all of the different tasks at hand. It is also known to improve your focus and brain functions.

7. It becomes part of your schedule

When incorporating yoga in your everyday life, it starts to become part of your routine. I feel when I don't go to yoga twice a week like I regularly do, that my body feels like it is missing out on something. There have been weeks where I have missed and my body notices it and I end up regretting it right away.

8. It helps promote better posture

With technology taking over how our posture becomes, yoga enhances and improves for a better posture. It helps ease the tense muscles in the upper back as well as the shoulders.

9. It detoxes your body

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With working out and bring more active comes a natural detox that occurs. The deep breathing allows enhancement of your organs, more importantly, your lungs. In hot yoga, the more you sweat the more your body performs a natural detox and cleanses itself which is the best feeling

10.  It calms your inner self

When I started going to yoga, I quickly learned to really enjoy the sport you have to create calmness within yourself. You learn to look at life in a different light and appreciate things a little more.

11.  It makes you becoming more flexible

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Along with balance, flexibility is not my strongest suit and my instructor has talked about how improving your flexibility reduces the chances of injury to occur. As you learn more about the poses and techniques your flexibility will increase the more you practice.

12.  It's an immunity Boost

With all of the sweat and your glands opening up your body will better protect you from diseases. It will help you reduce the chance of sickness, fight different infections going around and much more.

13.  It improves your breathing

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When being stressed and anxious, you tend to hold your breath. Yoga helps regulate your breathing and as well as your mental health. It will help you focus better and learn to maintain it.

14. It helps you unplug from life

How many hours a day do you just leave yourself time to recuperate and not have anyone bother you? It is not often this happens. Yoga has helped me with this to just focus on myself and not think about everything that is happening outside the studio. You need to give yourself that time as it is most essential.

15.  It is a Way of Life

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Practicing yoga, will become second nature to you. You will learn to have a more positive outlook on life and just yourself.

16.  It improves your sleep

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I usually go to yoga later at night, like around 9 pm. Which at first I thought was insane, but when I get home that night I am just ready for bed. I have never felt so well before going to yoga. It definitely helps me sleep more and get in a deeper sleep.

17. It helps with managing your weight

Regular workouts aren't the only thing that can help you manage your weight, but yoga helps a lot in this as well. In yoga, you learn about your mindfulness and what works best for you. With that being said, the many styles target a lot of different parts of your body.

18.  It builds your self-confidence

When entering the realm of being physically active often than you are used to challenges yourself. You are stepping out of your comfort zone. In my studio and probably every studio, you come in and you have the feeling that you are not being judged for once. Everyone struggles, it is an ongoing process and you will see improvement. This creates a stronger self-confidence within yourself.

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Give Yoga A Chance, One Namaste At A Time

Flowing through into something new.
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OK, hear me out. I believe that everyone should give yoga a chance. Yoga is a full mind and body workout that allows you to do things you didn't know you were capable of.

There might be the stereotype that it's just glorified stretching but anyone who has done yoga knows this is not true. There are so many different types of yoga. You just need to find the one that works for you.

Yoga might seem like a foreign language once you start looking for a class. Odds are you don't know the differences between Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, or Restorative yoga. But no worries! The yoga community is very welcoming to newcomers and will help you reach your goals. Unlike typical workouts, it's not a competition. Just you, your mat, and the instructor's voice. Everyone's concern is their own workout and bettering themselves.

Like all working out, yoga is self-motivated. The saying "you get out what you put in" is very true when it comes to yoga. You will more than likely hear you instructor talking about your practice. They are referring to what your body, mind, and effort. Whatever you want to get out of yoga is what you have to put in.

Don't get me wrong, I was a skeptic at one point too. I remember walking out of my first class saying "this is a cult." Looking back now I laugh and realize I might not have been as openminded as I should have been. Once you realize the Oms and Namestes are to help you relax and clear your mind, you won't even think about it. Going into yoga with an open mind is very important because you won't have the opportunity to better yourself if you never give it a chance.

If you are interested in trying but are hesitant or don't know what classes to take do your research. There are hundreds of articles explaining what each type of yoga is and what to expect in a class. Also, you could even call your local yoga studio and see what they recommend for newcomers.

Yoga might be a mystery to you but even if it doesn't seem like something you'd enjoy just give it a try. What could it hurt, right?

Cover Image Credit: Creative Commons

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I Was Screamed At For Telling Someone To 'Take A Deep Breath' And The Next Day, I Become A Certified Yoga Instructor

Perhaps people will now take me more seriously when I suggest some deep breathing?

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Emotions are such interesting factors that can highly influence the way that we behave. When you take the time to become mindful of your emotions as they arise, it is actually a really insightful experience in that you are more aware of when your emotions are clouding your ability to make decisions. Strong emotions can easily take control of your entire body in ways that can either be a help or a hindrance. Regardless of the positive or negative outcome, it is still important that you are aware of your emotions.

Strong emotions on either end of the spectrum can prohibit you from thinking to the best of your ability. Can you recall a moment when you were so overcome with ecstatic joy or pure anger that when you tried to focus on something else, your thoughts were filtered by the way that you were feeling? This is completely normal and happens to everyone frequently, so that is nothing to worry about. However, an issue arises when you lack the ability to break away from those feelings.

You are not your emotions. The acknowledgment of how you are feeling is a necessary step in learning how to deal with whatever emotion is plaguing you at the moment; however, completely embodying the way you are feeling can be restricting as it closes your mind from remaining open to any outside perspective.

Once, I had a friend who was very upset and relaying those inner thoughts and feelings to me in a manner which was not considerate of how I would be receiving their current state. (That is not the point, however, it did put me in a difficult position as I let them continue to erratically expel their negativity.) Regardless, it was quite apparent how their emotions were inhibiting the effectiveness of their communication choices. This puts the person on the receiving end in a challenging position when attempting to figure out what to do. How long do you allow somebody to be a victim of their unmanaged emotions when you can clearly see that they are not only negatively impacting themselves but also sending that energy into the lives of others?

In my situation, I quickly and calmly said, "You need to calm down; just take a deep breath." Eyes flashing with hardly enough time to think about what I had said, they screamed, "No! Don't tell me what to do!"

Obviously, they heard that there were words coming out of my mouth, but did they truly hear what I was saying?

It was at this moment that I truly realized how important social-emotional learning skills are. We all get upset sometimes; the negative feelings of anger, frustration, and despair are inevitable and normal to endure. What is most important is how we learn to handle these negative feelings when they enter our minds. This scenario I experienced demonstrated an eye-opening experience for me; even in my calm manner, the suggestion of something as simple as taking a deep breath infuriated this upset person even more.

I was puzzled at the moment of their reaction and I must admit that I am still puzzled even to this day as I reflect on their response to me. Perhaps I would understand the attitude-filled retaliation if I had suggested something outrageous in a tone that was also filled with anger; however, that was not the case.

Consequently, I did not have a reply to their response. I understood that the negative emotions had completely taken over this person's body and mind and that they were merely trying to alleviate their own suffering by expelling this negativity into the universe; this is not an excuse, rather it is an interpretation in an attempt for me to explain this irrational behavior. I tried my best to not absorb that energy; although, it is super challenging and most certainly changed my perspective not only about that specific individual but also about the importance of emotional regulation and human beings in general.

I realized that there was nothing I could do or say to help them; it is an intimidating notion that we are responsible for our own emotions, yet while we are experiencing strong thoughts and feelings, it is sometimes not easy to combat them. This is where social-emotional learning skills coupled with mindfulness prove to be crucial skills to have. Merely knowing about these skills is ineffective unless they are implemented in your daily life; this is when they prove to be the most impactful.

Ironically, this experience occurred the night before I was already enrolled to complete a yoga teacher training program. I must say, spending 20 hours practicing yoga, learning how to build a sequence of flowing poses, and meeting other interested yogis was definitely invigorating especially after the last evening I just had. Throughout this training, it was brought to my attention how grounding the breath can be; we are always breathing regardless of our awareness of doing so. When moments of hysteria bubble up, turning your awareness inward to the ebb and flow of your breath is helpful in reminding you that you are alive and present.

Sometimes, it is useful to have this reminder as we experience moments of discomfort. Sometimes, it is useful to have this reminder as we experience moments of excitement. And sometimes it is useful to have this reminder as we experience moments of just ordinary day-to-day life.

Thus, cultivating a mindset that allows you to feel any type of emotion as it commences, but then having the ability to remain aware of what you are enduring is important for your personal wellbeing and also how others will perceive you. Please allow yourself to feel your emotions mindfully at the moment, reflect thoughtfully once the moment has passed, and then pursue any step that you believe is necessary in order to forgive the negative actions you may have taken during that emotional moment.

And, please, always return to following your breath. It truly is helpful in bringing your awareness back to the moment instead of allowing your mind to fall victim to other factors, whether those are external or internal.

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