As I stretched out on my mat this morning I realized how much I love yoga; my mat, the ritual of my practice, the breath, the flow of the poses and, of course, savasana. I realized yoga makes me happy — like “a little kid at recess” happy. When I started practicing yoga over 15 years ago I would have never guessed how it would shape my life. I came to yoga like many other people to alleviate back pain, gain flexibility and to relieve stress. Yoga surprised me. What started as a physical practice has become so much more. It’s become my way of life.
Why I practice?
Yoga is one of the few things I do solely for me (except when I’m teaching, that’s for my students). I don’t practice so that I can do a handstand, balance on one arm, or put my leg around my head (which I definitely can’t do). I practice because my mat is always there for me, no matter what story is playing in my head or what chaos life is throwing at me. My mat brings me joy, feeds my strength, opens my heart and pats me on the back when I rock a pose I have been working on. It’s become my sanctuary and my home away from home. I practice because when life gets crazy and I feel like I’m starting to lose my balance, I roll out my mat and somehow, in the sweat, the breath and the movement, I feel connected and I find my center once again.
4 Benefits of a Yoga Practice.
Yoga has countless benefits. See for yourself and join the 20+ million Americans practicing yoga.
Get Flexible – Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you might not be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual shifts in flexibility, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.
Be Strong – I get asked all the time what I do to build my strength. The answer is simple, yoga. Most importantly yoga improves bone density and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
Relax – Learning to breathe well is a key benefit of yoga and a huge stress reducer. Yoga helps to buffer chronic stress by lowering cortisol levels. High cortisol levels from chronic stress can cause a weakened immune system, poor digestion and weight gain.
Get Happy – Feeling sad? Studies show that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in mood boosting serotonin levels.
For more great benefits check out this infographic.
I am passionate about the practice, about the connection, about teaching and about the fact that yoga makes you both emotionally and physically stronger, flexible and balanced.
Why do you do yoga?
Wishing You Vibrant Living!