Although I recently have sort of become a green juice drinking, Subaru driving, eco-curious young adult, I started my yoga practice well before the development of all this, when Lean Cuisine was my favorite chef. Who knows, maybe yoga is what launched me into this sort of holistic lifestyle, but regardless, I think that yoga has tons of benefits, and here are some reasons you should consider it – even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes a day.
1. It teaches you to relax. If closing your eyes, dumping your brain, and breathing deeply in a quiet space doesn’t make you relax, I’m not sure what else would. It is so, so nice to just take even 5 minutes of your day to relax and have a little “me” time. Let go of Facebook, Instagram, the cell phone… and just appreciate all that you have, and how blessed you are to have a body that is able to breathe, move, and stretch. I’ve never not ended my yoga practice feeling refreshed and focused, ready to either end my day or begin it.
2. It teaches you to become mindful. We live in a world where multitasking is the norm. We surf the web while we eat or work while thinking about our next social media post. And yes… I think it is safe to say that even while we go to the bathroom, a lot of people (my self included) browse our phones. Yoga teaches you to step away from all that. To notice how the breath feels as it passes through your nose, mouth, and into your belly. Notice the sounds around you. The sensation of the floor as you sit or stand on it. These lessons easily transition into a healthy lifestyle practice. You become more aware of how food makes you feel, when you’re actually hungry, how you feel after exercise… and becoming aware of these things is guaranteed to help you develop new, healthy habits.
3. Stretching feels good. Our stressed-out, sedentary culture is the WORST for overall health. We often are plagued with aches, pains, and tension. Taking a few minutes every day to stretch out your hips and shoulders feels SO good after a long day (think about that super feel-good-ness that you get after you stretch out a sore muscle) and can help to lessen pain and stiffness. BONUS: your posture will improve, too!
4. Learn how to breathe. Yoga is much more than pretty fun poses you see on instagram. One of the foundations of yoga is the breath. Daily, we often breathe very fast, shallow breaths. Focusing on breathing in deeply and slower than you want to go is going to help calm you down and improve oxygenation. Once your breathing in yoga becomes a habit, you may find the long, deep breaths as a useful coping mechanism for stress during your busy work days, as well.
5. You become stronger. Yoga IS a really good workout. It takes a lot of core stability, and endurance to hold the postures. You may struggle with chaturanga for the first couple weeks, but then after, you start to flow through it with ease. Or perhaps you finally get the courage to try an inversion and amaze yourself that you could hold it, even for 5 seconds! Yoga is beautiful because you strengthen with ease, and consistent practice; it doesn’t have to be strenuous 30 minute sweaty, out-of-breath sessions to get results.
Wondering where to start? Here are some of my favorite YouTubers that I started with:
Yoga By Candace
Yoga With Adrienne
OR you can simply search “beginner yoga” and find a plethora of free videos on YouTube.