If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of yoga. It’s made such a difference in my life. Little did I know what a change it would be for me when I walked into my very first yoga class. I’ve already written a post about why you should try yoga (you can check it out here), but I thought I’d write a follow up with a few more reasons just in case you weren’t convinced yet.
Teaches you to be kind to yourself. Before I did yoga regularly I would have thought you were crazy if you told me yoga and patience were connected. I just wouldn’t have seen how that could be possible. It’s easy for me sometimes to think that I should be able to do a pose by now because I’ve been trying to do it for what seems like forever. But I have to remind myself that I need to be patient and willing to wait for the right time for it to happen. Does that mean I don’t give it 100% every single time? Absolutely not. But I have enough grace to give myself a break. I wouldn’t expect that of other people, so why would I do that to myself? I’ve also learned to extend that same kindness to others.
Patience. As much as you might try to perfect a certain pose, sometimes getting it right won’t happen for months (or years). I’ll admit that there are some poses that I can’t wait to be able to do (hello headstands). But just like everything in life, doing impressive things means that you have to work hard for it. Are there poses that I thought I would have mastered by now? Absolutely. But I know that it will come in time if I stick with it. Just like in life things don’t happen when I think they should, the same thing happens on my mat. Yoga is a great reminder to me to be patient.
Better focus. When I’m on my mat all I think about it yoga. Although I still have my moments when I get distracted thinking about work or what I’m making for dinner, for the most part I’m just thinking about the pose I’m in. To be honest in the beginning it was really tough. My mind was all over the place. I’ve found the key for me when it comes to better focus is my breath. When I’m breathing how I’m supposed to – smoothly and deeply – I’m in the zone. When I allow my breath to speed up because I’m in a tough pose or I’m thinking about something outside of class, my mind ends up wandering. I’ve been able to translate that better focus during yoga class into my life off the mat as well. It’s actually kind of freeing to give myself permission to focus on just one thing at a time. Instead of trying to answer email, listen to a podcast, and make dinner at the same time, I consciously choose to do only one at a time. I’m still not great at it, but I definitely see a difference when I stop multitasking.
Improves mind body connection. When I’m in class and on my mat it’s literally just me. I have to connect with what my body is doing in class. Are my shoulders higher than they should be in warrior I? What is it that’s stressing me out and can I let it go to let my body relax during class? Even making sure that I’m breathing slowly makes a big difference in how connected I feel to my physical body. I’ve also noticed a shift in my mindset since I’ve started yoga. I’m much for grateful for what my body can do than I was before. I may never be the best at anything athletic, but I’m very lucky to have a healthy body that lets me do everyday stuff.
Now that you know my mine, what’s one of your reasons to try yoga.