Monday, July 4, 2016

5 Amazing Reasons to Do Yoga

"Yoga isn't about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down" 

Yoga is a big part of my life. 

I have been practicing for over 5 years and try to practice almost every day, even if it is only for 10 minutes.

I can’t do a handstand or a full back bend but that’s ok - and that’s why I love yoga. Its not about who you were yesterday or who you might be tomorrow or even who you want to be - its who you are right now in the present moment and truly accepting that moment. 

There is no finish line, no one to compete with or to compare to.

It is time with yourself, challenging your edge and moving your body with no judgement. 

I go to classes once in a while but mostly I practice at home with a website/app called myyogaonline

Sometimes I do a hard, sweaty workout practice and other days I do a quick stretch. 

The crow pose I show in my picture is one pose I have figured out. Each time I do it I'm reminded that in life I can lift myself out of anything! As a side note, it took me a really long time to be able to successfully do that pose - along the way there were many falls...again kinda like life.

I know some of you would tell me that you can't do yoga because you aren't flexible or strong or don't love wearing yoga pants...well here is my response - anyone can do yoga - there are tons of beginner and restorative classes and you don’t have to have a flexible bone in your body to do them - all you do is show up as you are and I guarantee you will learn a little something new about yourself. Still need more convincing? 

Here are 5 amazing reasons to do yoga...

It keeps your brain young...
A neuroscience study from 2015 shows that yoga actually changes the brain. They used an MRI of the brain to show yoga protects the brain from grey matter declining in volume as we age. Those that had practiced more yoga had brain volumes typical for much younger people - basically doing yoga protects your brain from shrinking as you age. It also sharpens your memory, boosts brain function and improves reaction time.

Its a good workout...
Yoga is one of the healthiest ways to shed some pounds and build strength. Seriously. Yoga engages your shoulders, arms, core and legs. And a few sun salutations will have you sweaty in no time. 

It makes you more balanced and flexible...
Practicing yoga regularly improves your balance and flexibility. This helps you be more coordinated in other sports or activities you enjoy. Don't worry if you aren't flexible to start - you can modify most poses to work with where you are at and you will slowly gain flexibility and balance each and every time you hit the mat.

Its good for your heart...
Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease as much as conventional exercise. On average, yoga participants lost five pounds, decreased their blood pressure, and lowered their low-density (“bad”) cholesterol by 12 points. Plus it teaches the practice of self-compassion and kindness giving yourself some much needed love.

It makes you feel happy...
Yoga is a proven stress reliever. A challenging yet calming practice will boost your mood and help you reflect on the present moment, clearing your mind of clutter and unnecessary thoughts. It connects you to the present moment and being happy with who you are and what you have right now.


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