Do you ever wonder why dedicated yogis keep rolling out their mats? The reasons may change over time, but there are many. For some, practicing yoga is a way to reduce stress and stay in shape. Another common reason people do yoga is to prevent or relieve pain.
But there’s much more.
If you’re new to yoga and wondering why you should begin or continue to practice, here are five great reasons beyond the ordinary for practicing yoga.
Anyone can practice yoga!
If you’re an athlete and need a tough, physical workout, there’s a class for you. If you want to strengthen weak muscles, you can find the right class for that as well. If you’re overworked or stressed out, gentle and restorative yoga classes can help. No matter your age or physical condition, you can do yoga!
You’ll learn to breathe better.
You’re probably thinking you already know how to breathe, but chances are good you can learn to breathe better. Why making better breathing a goal? It’s simple. Better breathing helps oxygen flow through your body more efficiently. With more oxygen circulating, especially to your brain, your mind is clearer, you’re less anxious, and you have more energy.
You’ll forge friendships that can last a lifetime.
The yoga community is filled with interesting, like-minded people. Yoga is a lifestyle practice, and it helps to have friends on the journey. Your yoga friends will not only share your interest in yoga but may help you grow in other areas of life. You’ll do the same for them!
Practicing yoga will make you stronger.
Many yoga poses are weight-bearing exercises. You may be surprised to see how well yoga tones muscles and strengthens the body. It’s like working with weights without the need to buy special equipment!
Yoga will boost your mood.
Studies show a regular yoga practice can change your brain chemistry and increase levels of “feel-good” chemicals. You won’t need drugs or alcohol to feel great!
You’ll begin to understand yourself as a spiritual being.
I know this is not a goal for everyone, but many people come to a deeper understand of their true nature when they practice yoga for a while. If you choose to study yoga philosophy (and I highly recommend you do), you’ll have a unique opportunity to explore reality on another level.
Practicing Yoga: How to Start and Stick to It
The first step is to find out what style of yoga you want to practice. You may already have an idea, or you may want to try different classes and teachers. Find local studios and sign up for a new student package. Most studios have discounted rates for new students to give you a chance to explore their offerings.
Another option is to explore online classes. This gives you the opportunity for practicing yoga at home whenever you like. The Track Yoga app, of course, is ideal for this. You’ll likely find you enjoy more than one type or level of class, so try as many as possible.
When you’re finding your yoga home and establishing your routine, don’t forget breathing practices and meditation. For an even richer experience, find out about the history and philosophy of yoga as well. This could mean joining a yoga book group or attending yoga workshops or retreats.
You might also join a yoga community or subscribe to a magazine like Yoga Journal. The best way to stay motivated is to practice with friends and share the journey!