Yoga has been around for centuries, and for good reason. Whether you consider it a culture, routine, technique, or coping mechanism, one thing is for sure – yoga has many physical and mental health benefits. If you’re still on the fence about yoga, here are some ways on how it can change your life and how to start this centuries-old practice:
1. Ability to Deliberately Enter a State of Relaxation
By now, this is arguably the most common fact known about yoga, and experienced yoga practitioners and instructors can attest to that fact. Learning and mastering yoga allows you to calm your mind and body faster. And this isn’t some mind trick either. Many of the mechanisms and processes that lead to stress relief through yoga are scientifically proven. In a nutshell, yoga lowers the level of certain hormones, such as cortisol, that lead to stress. Simultaneously, yoga boosts pleasure hormones that improve mood.
2. Increase in Motivation
The increasing level of difficulty of yoga poses can yield a boost in motivation. Beginners who start off often aren’t even able to perform a handstand. But over time, with consistent practice, the sequences become easier, and you start to notice what your body and mind are actually capable of if you devote both of these resources into a task or goal.
3. Boost in Self-Confidence
Different yoga poses target different muscle groups, giving you a more toned and tighter body. You also become physically stronger and healthier. These things can affect how you conduct yourself in public, whether it’s at social events or intimate meetups. That said, yoga doesn’t eliminate imperfections; it does help refocus your attention away from your flaws and towards your strengths.
4. Better Daily Habits
Practitioners of yoga gain a deeper respect for their body and mind. They start to eat healthier, sleep at more conducive times, take work and career objectives at a healthier pace, clean their homes more often, and spend more time with loved ones. Getting a better handle on your personal life can benefit your career, financial status, quality of relationships, etcetera.
Getting Started With Yoga
First things first, grab a yoga mat and comfortable clothing that does not restrict your range of motion. Clear a space around your living room or bedroom where you’ll practice every morning.
Do your research. There are different types or styles of yoga that you can start learning, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, etcetera. Each yoga style may vary in difficulty level, time commitment, and focus. For instance, Iyengar yoga focuses on proper body alignment while Kundalini yoga attempts to unlock the spiritual energy found at the base of the spine.
Find a support system. Yoga can be done as a solo activity, but joining a class online or in person can make the experience better in many ways. For instance, attending yoga classes means you get professional instruction, which means being able to overcome the learning curve faster. It also makes the experience richer since there is also an element of social engagement at play.
Yoga is a great way to de-stress, but the benefits extend beyond stress management. When adopted as a lifestyle, yoga can be a transformative tool that can improve both your personal and professional life.