“Why do you do yoga? So you can learn to do what, headstands?”
Why do people do yoga?
I started doing yoga around…2007/2008. I did it on and off (mostly off) until about 2 years ago when I started realizing that the benefits were far more than I could have imagined. I now do yoga on average of 6 days a week as a way to manage generalized anxiety and chronic pain/illness.
I do a morning sequence that helps me check in with my body and then assists me in creating a more calm and mindful approach to the day. I also do a sequence at night that helps me to fall asleep by allowing me to check in with myself again and then let go of the day. I also do classes during the week, mostly one night a week, sometimes I’ll go to two; depends on how my pain and fatigue are.
Now I’m no saint! A lot of the time I feel too agitated/anxious/tired/sore and let my practice slide in favour of the couch and a movie. However I have learned that those are probably the times I most need to continue so I do my best where I can. If I really cannot bring myself to practice, then that is also okay, we do need a break sometimes. That is when I try do something else nurturing like having a warm bath or putting on a face mask and painting my nails, or even cooking a nice meal. All of those include a level of mindfulness and meditation anyway, so on some level I am still getting a small section of the yoga in 😛
So since dedicating myself to yoga more often I have noticed the following benefits:
- I fall asleep quicker
- I am calmer and more mindful during the day
- I am kinder to myself (and more accepting of my body on days when it cannot function like it should)
- I am more able to sit with the discomfort and/or chronic pain
- My cholesterol is lower than it’s ever been (In my early twenties it was over 6 and it is now around 4.2! High cholesterol runs in my family by the by)
- I am not hit by depression as often and if I am I bounce back a lot quicker
- I am stronger physically. Yoga builds strength so quietly that you don’t even realize how strong you have become until suddenly you can do poses you never dreamed of being able to do!
And on a final note: stop using the “but I’m not flexible” excuse. Yoga is NOT about how flexible you are! It is about patience, listening to your body and working towards a better YOU inside and out. Now off you go…give it a try and if you’d like, I’d love to hear about your yoga experiences too…