Yoga offers countless benefits that are accessible to everyone, pretzel-like flexibility is not required. Read on to learn more about the mind-body benefits.
More than poses
When most of us think about yoga, we think about asana or the poses. But yoga is much more than being able to keep your balance or twist yourself into impossible shapes. Yoga means union and is about connecting the mind and body to nourish your highest self.
Yoga is for everyone
Yoga has an aspect of mindfulness built right in. As you move through the physical practice, you work to steady the mind and unblock stuck energy. Yoga can also help you feel more connected to your body and develop a relationship with your body that feels healthy and strong. Yoga is not about being able to touch your toes. You can have a strong, rewarding practice, even if you can’t touch your toes. Yoga is more about moving the body, staying with the breath and being supportively available to yourself as your practice reveals and heals your inner life.
That said…there are some physical benefits
Yoga offers benefits for all shapes and sizes. Although weight loss is possible with yoga – Instagram is filled with proud devotees displaying their chaturanga arms – the bigger benefit is cultivating a strong and stable mind. Doing work on the mat can help you feel more compassion for yourself and others off the mat. You may also notice that you feel more confident as well. That’s because yoga can help you cultivate a friendlier relationship to your body and mind, resulting in greater comfort and ease.
How else can yoga help?
You may find with regular practice that you sleep better and feel less stressed. Yoga can also improve functional fitness, making everyday tasks easier. Even if you can’t touch your toes, you may find with time that you feel less muscle tension and stiffness.
You don’t need to go out an invest in pricey equipment to get started. Just start with a mat and find a video that appeals to you. There are many types of yoga, and it is worth trying several to find that best fit. Start without striving. Just be curious and mindful about the experience. Release all expectations and let yourself be in the moment with each pose and each breath. You may find that you lose weight and get toned, but more importantly, you may be thrilled to realize that you’ve finally found yourself.