Is yoga for everyone? Even though yoga has been around for centuries, there are still some people who shy away from this practice. Regular yoga practice has some great benefits for you and here are just a few:
- Develops a strong and flexible body
- Increases balance, body awareness, and coordination
- Improves digestion, circulation, and elimination
- Calms and clears the mind
- Relieves tension and stress
- Promotes thinking and memory
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Builds confidence and self-esteem
- Develops discipline and self-control
- Encourages social awareness and responsibility
- Inspires respect for self and others
Nothing in yoga should ever hurt. If you are thinking about starting a yoga practice, talk to your instructor ahead of time. Ask about their class format and what modifications he or she would make for your particular situation. Yoga is not a competitive sport and a good instructor will help you feel comfortable, yet gently challenged.
In fact the hardest thing about yoga in the beginning is being quiet! There are two times during a class when your instructor will help you to become centered at the beginning of class and ask you to surrender to total relaxation at the end. This is where most new yogis have a problem. Close my eyes? Breathe deeply? Lie down? All of these do help to set the tone and are necessary for relaxation, but most new people have a hard time quieting their mind during this process. Just like anything else, practice, being physically comfortable, and letting go will turn these times into your most anticipated part of your yoga practice. In the beginning, a lavender pillow or your favorite blanket is really useful.
There are so many benefits to a yoga practice. You will find, like I did, once you start, your body, mind, friends, and family will thank you. Give it a try.
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