You wouldn’t believe how often I am asked about why I do yoga, why other people should do it, and what the benefits are. The truth is the reasons I practice yoga are personal, just as they should be for anyone. Of course, there are many physical benefits to yoga, but for me it’s about so much more than that. There are many intangible benefits in yoga beyond just getting in great shape!

Here are five great reasons you should practice yoga

1. Yoga has many tremendous physical and mental benefits

Different types of yoga formats such as Vinyasa, Hot Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and other forms of Power Yoga will absolutely change your body. You will lose weight, gain strength, and have great muscle tone. What you might not expect is that as your body grows stronger so will your mind. You will develop a great sense of self-awareness, patience, and focus. Who doesn’t like feeling and looking good?

2. Yoga relieves pain

When practiced under the guidance of trained instructors, yoga can be used as an alternative form of pain management. Numerous studies have shown the effects that yoga can have on back pain, arthritis, headaches, heart disease, pregnancy, and so much more. Yoga is also shown to improve things like your digestive system and your joints. Yoga can also increase blood flow throughout your entire circulatory system, which makes it great for your heart.

3. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety

One of the biggest lessons in yoga is learning how to BREATHE! You will learn how to breathe in everyday situations, which will help reduce stress and anxiety. Breathing gives you the power to control your emotions in many situations, giving you the mental clarity you need to get through difficult situations.

4. Yoga connects you to your spirit

Yoga isn’t a religious practice, but it’s certainly a spiritual one. Yoga allows you to prioritize your soul over physical or materialistic things. So much of yoga practice is more than just the asanas (postures). Practicing yoga gives you a sense of calmness. The Namastes, the calls to relaxation, reflection, and meditation will leave you feeling balanced and centered.

5. Yoga gives you 60 minutes of time just for you

Ask yourself how much time a day you dedicate to disconnecting and allowing yourself to just be? Yes, your job, your family, and your friends are all important… but so is your well-being. For 60 minutes you can step on a mat and breathe deeply into your body and let everything go. Give your mind and body the attention they deserve so you can be the best version of yourself.

I encourage you to give yoga a try if you haven’t already!

Our friendly staff and instructors will help walk you through the process step-by-step if you’ve never been to a yoga class before. Yoga is easy to start, fun to learn, and before you know it you’ll be hooked!

The Benefits of Yoga for Men and Women

No matter what age you are Yoga can provide you with incredible benefits. To someone who has never tried it before it probably looks intimidating to see all those incredible Yogis out there stretching, bending and contorting their bodies into seemingly impossible poses. It is important to remember that even they were beginners at some point. Nobody starts off amazing at any sport, or athletic endeavor. It takes years and years of practice to gain a high level of flexibility and mobility that advanced Yogis have. But even the basic movements and poses can be incredibly beneficial to a novice Yogi. What that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the benefits Yoga provides.

Increase flexibility and mobility

Our bodies are designed for movement, but most of us spend a lot of time sitting in an office chair working at a computer or moving very little throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle causes your joints and muscles to get stiff and tighten up. Yoga includes many physical postures (called yoga asanas) that loosen the joints that make up your spine–a great way to restore your flexibility and mobility. If you have soreness from sitting in your shoulders, back, and neck, Yoga can greatly reduce common aches and pains.

Get toned, build muscle

Yoga as a practice goes far beyond stretching and flexibility by using weight bearing exercises like the plank, eagle, and warrior pose to strengthen and build muscle. You will notice an impact in your legs, shoulders, and core, giving you a total body workout and burning body fat. Some of the most recommended exercises for increasing strength and balance come directly from yoga.

Relive anxiety and stress

Our busy lifestyles can leave us feeling anxious and stressed at the end of the day. Think of your body like a battery, storing the energy you need for an active lifestyle. If that energy is always being stored up and has nowhere to go your mental health will suffer as a consequence. If you feel high levels of anxiety or stress, you will benefit from setting some time aside daily for a meditative, low impact workout. Have you ever heard a Yogi talk about the “high” they get after 30 minutes of Yoga? Practicing yoga releases endorphins and dopamine, reducing negative feelings and making you feel good.

Prevent Injuries

If you are already active in the gym, be it lifting weights, or pursuing an athletic endeavor, adding Yoga into your training routine can greatly reduce the risk of suffering an injury during a workout. Practicing yoga builds “body awareness,” which will help you better assess yourself, keeping you conscious of how your body feels and the limits of your physical capability. Not only does yoga build body awareness but having flexible, well-stretched yoga muscles will help your body recover more quickly after a tough workout.

Should you be practicing Yoga? The answer to this question is most likely yes. Unless you are suffering from an injury or have specific medical advice from a doctor, introducing even 30 minutes of Yoga into your daily routine will provide you with a plethora of benefits. What do you have to lose? Give it a try and see how yoga makes you feel!