Feb
16

6 Reasons to Practice Yoga

Living Zen,Mindfulness,Yoga       Trackback

I personally find the practice of yoga to be the most rewarding mind and body exercise that I have ever undertaken. Unlike many types of physical exercise, yoga is subtle and comparatively easy, allowing a simple five or ten minutes per day to translate into real, visible results. If you’re considering starting a yoga regiment or simply need a reminder as to why you do it every day, check out my top six reasons for maintaining the practice!

1. Breathing

One of the absolute keys to yoga is the control of the breath. The timed breathing that flows so smoothly with each pose and posture helps one to be more aware of the most fundamental action that your body undertakes each and every moment of your life. Steady, monitored breathing leads directly to increased physical stamina and intense relaxation, two of the biggest boons to yoga. As you continue to practice you will find that you become more and more mindful of your breathing every minute of the day, leading to extended stress relief and overall calmness of mind, body and spirit.

2. The Physical Benefits

Whether you choose to undertake a slow and steady practice or more physically demanding postures, yoga is directly akin to all other beneficial exercises. The stretching and straining involved in all forms of yoga will lead almost immediately to increased flexibility, more and better muscle tone and the loss of fat. See for yourself; 30 minutes of even moderately difficult poses will have you sweating like you went for a run!

3. Increased Mindfulness

As mentioned in point number one, controlled breathing helps lead directly to everyday mindfulness of your body’s most fundamental functioning. Yoga practice also gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with the rest of your body by combining physical relaxation with deep mental stimulation. The longer I practice, the more in tune with myself and the universe I feel and there is nothing better than feeling like you are genuinely in tune with yourself, inside and out.

4. Do it for the Kids!

Yoga practice is a wonderful thing to teach and perform with your children, helping them to understand the absolute importance of peak physical health. Too often in Western society we become dulled to the need for fitness and longevity, focusing instead on the instant gratification offered by fast food and laziness. My two-year-old isn’t much for 30 minutes of practice but he strikes a mean tree pose and helps to make my practice exponentially more enjoyable.

5. Mental Development

While yoga offers much in the way of physical exercise, it also creates the opportunity for clarity of mind and insight. The fluid movement and steady breath that the practice of yoga entails naturally creates a peaceful place for both body and mind, allowing you to experience the mental clarity and evolvement that comes hand in hand with not only yoga, but many mindfulness training practices.

6. Sleep Well, Every Night

I have no clear facts or evidence to demonstrate the effect that yoga has on sleep patterns but I can say with true authority that a day for me that includes 15 or 30 minutes of practice is guaranteed to end with a fit, restful sleep. A day with no yoga might see me sleep a full eight hours with only a slightly rested feeling while yoga creates in me the ability to sleep a scant six hours while waking up alert and rested, ready to attack the day. Peacefulness in the mind body and exercise in the physical body add up to allow one to reach a deep sleep more quickly, giving your body the ability to maximize the benefit of each and every moment that you slumber.

In summation: do yoga! It can be as little as five minutes each morning before work or each night before you hit the sack; unlike many forms of exercise, the benefits of yoga can be seen and felt immediately and will increase steadily in the long term. Many people that I talk to are extremely surprised that, after attempting and then quitting everything from jogging to jump rope, they feel absolutely compelled to continue their yogic practice with no prompting whatsoever – yoga simply speaks for itself!


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15 Comments

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  • Renny Said:

    I LOVE YOGA! I feel a huge sense of oneness with my body – I feel like spider-man! I am limber and lithe when I finish…very empowering!

  • Greg Said:

    I started doing yoga about 6 months ago when I started doing P90X. I practice once or twice a week and cannot believe the difference it has made. I am more flexible than I ever thought I could be.

  • Sue Said:

    I agree! Unlike many forms of exercise you don’t need to beat your body to death. You benefit from even 5 or 10 minutes of practice. Sure it is great to have the time to do more, but nice to know when you don’t have much time you still get great benefits.

  • workout mommy Said:

    This post reminds me just how much I miss doing yoga!! All are true, especially #3.

  • Dee - Holycool.net Said:

    I’ve started doing Yoga not so long ago. And I have to agree with every point you’ve mentioned… It’s just fantastic!

  • forex lady Said:

    yes its Sure it is great to have the time to do more, but nice to know when you don’t have much time you still get great benefits

  • Lingerie Said:

    My girlfriend practices yoga on a daily basis. It’s a lot harder than it looks!!!

  • Mark Said:

    One must admit the Indians are a bunch of smart people to have invented Yoga! I hear that their ancient religious Hindu books contact stuff about science, astronomy etc. Kudos to them…

  • Gregorio Said:

    Some more reminders as to why I should invest more time in to learning Yoga.

  • Dean - Law of Attraction for Beginners Said:

    Glad I StumbledUpon this post.

    I agree yoga is a great and simple way to unite mind / body. For me, a few simple asanas in the evening before going to bed is a great way to clear out any tension and stress. Makes for a great sleep.

  • Travis Said:

    Even though yoga is known to reap great physical healthy benefits, reasons #3 and #6 are the main reasons I practice yoga.

    A)It helps me feel more at peace with myself, surroundings, and mental processes

    and

    B) As a byproduct of that, I sleep MUCH better at night. No stress running through my mind (which often keeps me up at night)

  • Chaitanya Said:

    I have not started yoga yet, and I guess my comment is much later than anyone else’s, but I really want to start doing it. I am actually in 10th grade right now, and I am the BIGGEST procrastinator you would ever meet. I keep EVERYTHING until the last minute like finals, final projects, and everything until the night before. Will yoga help me get off my lazy butt and do SOMETHING? And since I am in school, will it also help me relieve the stress of school? How long would be ideal for me to start off in the morning, and will I wake up with less laziness in the morning? I want to do it in the morning before going to school, but that seems nearly impossible to me, because I get up like 10 minutes before the bus comes everyday, so I dont know how I can wake up like 1:30hr before the bus comes. Please Help me…..I am soooooooooooooo Lazy and such a biiiiiiiiiiiiiig Procrastinator.

  • James Rassel Said:

    When you do something under the constrain of time in a gradual process, that leads to achieve something. Our physiological movement is timelessness, it means, you can’t bind it in a time. When physiological movement moves, it happens instantly and never fall into old. It always moves into new. But when you follow through a process, it falls into an already decided facts. Which is already decided, that is the activities of a closed mind to achieve something.
    You don’t need to do the yoga for the physiological revolution, you just need the understanding about the fact which is timelessness. Yoga may give you a physical and mental sensation that you want to achieve.

  • Judy Said:

    I started practicing yoga 8 years ago and get to enjoy it even though some poses might be challenging. I practice a mixture of hot, hatha, power, yin, restorative, therapy and pranayama and find that it really helps to keep me away from doctor. When a person feels well, they feel good and happy.
    Even simple poses will still benefit a person’s health but must be discipline enough to practice daily which is what I am doing.

  • Lyndi Said:

    Yoga helps everything that I do. I took yoga for years, took pre-natal yoga and enjoy practicing on my own. I even work for a company that helps yoga businesses. I get to work with yoga studio owners, practice yoga and enjoy the benefits of yoga. Trifecta! :D

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