Yoga Has Many Benefits, These Are Just A Few

Yoga Has Many Benifits, These Are Just A Few

A new hobby to get into

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A lot of people are intimidated by yoga, it seems to be harder when you look at the photos. But it definitely is something to try out. Anyone can do yoga, you just need to start out slow and build your way up. The whole point is to find your center, work on your breathing and balance.

I myself have experienced yoga's healing powers. Recently my lower back has been giving me some trouble with pain and being able to sit for long periods of time. But I figured if I stretched, even quickly, at some point in the day the stress pain in my lower back would fade.

Yoga also improves flexibility. During your first class, you probably won't be able to touch your toes. But, if you stick with It, you'll notice your muscles slowly loosening and eventually something that you've seen a "yoga guru" do will become possible. It also builds major muscle strength. The good thing about yoga is that when you're building the strength it is balanced with flexibility. As contrasted to if you were to go to the gym and lift weights, you might just build strength at the expense of flexibility.

Yoga actually protects your spine too. Not only does it improve your posture but it is proven that your spinal disks crave movement to get their "nutrients" and if you have a well-balanced practice with backbends, forward bends and twists your disks will be in happy supple.

It also gets your blood flowing. The relaxation exercise you learn can help with circulation, mainly in your hands and feet. Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells which end up functioning better as a result. There are many studies that show yoga can also help lower high blood pressure. From experience, there is a sense of a yoga high that you get when you finish practice or just do a few simple poses for the day. Your body feels overall relaxed and you notice your breathing in steady sync. You sometimes feel like you floating on cloud nine because your body is working together as a well stretched oiled machine. Yoga leads to an increase in serotonin levels in the brain and can actually improve the happiness and well-being of the participant.

Yoga isn't all about the eye-catching, body defying poses but the overall benefits it has to one's life too.

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I Tried A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, Here's My Report Back

*Bows head in gratitude* Namaste <3

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I decided to try 30 days of yoga using Yoga with Adriene's daily YouTube tutorials as help. For years I'd wanted to try yoga but had every excuse in the book, namely that I have absolutely no flexibility whatsoever. Seriously, I can't even touch my toes. But I decided to give it a try and the lessons I learned were without limit.

Day 1:

I immediately got discouraged because of how little I was able to do and how uncomfortable every exercise was. But thanks to the instructor on those videos, I forced myself in the next few days to relax a little and stop judging myself so much. She kept saying things like "you're not alone" or "if this hurts, try this instead" which made my own shortcomings a little easier to digest.

Day 7:

I didn't notice much of a change except perpetual soreness. Much to my surprise, your wrists are essential to most yoga practices and are often one of the weakest parts of the body. Still, I did notice that my mindset was changing. Sure, I definitely had moments of anger and frustration that I couldn't see progress as fast as I wanted to, but I began to start to force my brain to appreciate the fact that I was here, I was working out, I was pushing my body, and I wasn't going to let myself get too irritated to stop.

Day 20:

I guess I expected to be at the level of a professional yogi at this point, but nevertheless, I was noticing some changes that made me feel like what I was doing was worth it. I could visibly see a slight increase in the length of stretches I was able to get to, and slowly but surely my balance was beginning to follow suit. I wasn't so sore all the time, and I actually enjoyed pushing my body into uncomfortable positions. As Adriene says, the fire that you feel and the shaking and straining of your muscles just shows how connected you are to your body and even more just shows how dedicated you are to working.

Day 31:

I didn't stop doing yoga after I hit the 30-day mark. In fact, I saw so many benefits (even more mental than physical) in doing yoga so often that I dedicated myself to another 30 days. Coming to the mat every morning and forcing myself to spend time doing what is good for me, even when most of the time I don't feel like it or feel too overwhelmed with other tasks to want to do it, has become critical to maintaining some of my mental health.

My body is often a facet of my life that I tend to ignore. In fact, a lot of the time, I don't treat it very well at all. The worst thing I do to it is judge and critique how it looks when all I should expect of it is to keep me growing and living my best life, and it's certainly doing that. Now when I do a stretch or switch to a new pose, I can begin to thank every joint and every part of my body for putting in the effort that I'm asking it to.

Thirty days of yoga has become a new habit for me, and it has become essential to my meditations and improving my confidence. If you haven't done yoga because of feelings of intimidation, I would highly recommend a similar challenge. If you can find the right guide and the right headspace, you'll have the perfect combination to push yourself to new levels and maybe learn a little bit about your body and mind in the process.

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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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