3 Surprising Benefits of Yoga
Disclaimer: I Am Not Your Typical Yogi
I will be honest. I used to stereotype people who practiced yoga as hippie/free-spirited/super-flexible people. Although I assumed this about those who practiced yoga and didn’t necessarily think there were benefits of yoga, I was also always incredibly impressed with those who were able to do amazing yoga poses.
I was a little intimidated at first…
When I saw those who practiced they seemed really fit, flexible, and focused. In my mind… I did not possess any of the traits that I thought necessary to practice yoga, I assumed yoga wasn’t for me.
It turns out, I was wrong…
I luckily found 3 surprising benefits of yoga.
I was looking to switch up my workout a bit, (sidenote – I get bored easily,) so I decided to try a free class that was being offered at my gym.
After only one class I was totally hooked.
At first I was a little nervous. I was so surprised (and a bit happy) to see that I wasn’t the only person in the class losing balance, falling over, and struggling to get into these somewhat awkward positions.
And, there was no judgment from anyone about that. Even the instructor lost balance a couple of times.
On top of that, I felt so calm and refreshed by the end of the class.
I almost felt like I had just walked out of a spa after a full body massage. And, I knew that I had just done something really good for my body and my mind.
What We Already Know About the Benefits of Yoga & What We Didn’t Realize
We already know that yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, strengthen your body, and promote balance and coordination.
But, I learned that there are other surprising benefits of yoga as well.
Benefits of yoga #1: Improved Clarity
Yoga is actually considered a form of meditation. Many of the balance poses require so much concentration that you are forced to be present. Your mind can’t wander, or you will wind up on the ground.
For me, yoga is a great way to reap the benefits of meditation! This is great if you find it difficult to meditate in the traditional sense. Or, if you want to multi-task!
Benefits of yoga #2: Cardio & Circulatory Benefits
Even though you may not be moving much in your yoga practice, it’s not hard to get your heart pumping. The strength required to hold some poses really get my blood pumping. Especially when I’m doing inversions and I’m upside-down.
Benefits of yoga #3: Learning to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable
The awkward poses in yoga are awkward on purpose. (This I did not know at first!) These poses teach us to put our ego aside and try new things. This will help you on and off the yoga mat.
What Yoga is NOT
Leave your ego at the door! Yoga is not some where your ego can be present. It’s very different from going to the gym and working your way up weight rack.
You might find it discouraging at first because one day you’ll have the ability to do some amazingly difficult poses. Which will make you feel really strong, flexible, and proud. Then, the next day you are falling over during the simplest poses.
Yoga continuously reminds me that our bodies are dynamic.
The key to success is being mindful and not judging ourselves, but rather recognizing changes and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion.
I realized that the stereotype is wrong. People who practice yoga can be amazing athletes, people with back and joint pain who are looking for relief, or those simply wanting a good workout.
However, as much as I love practicing Yoga, I will still say that I am not your typical yogi. I am pretty high maintenance. I love shoes, bags, beauty products, and I can’t go on vacation with less than 27 suitcases… Don’t judge me.
But, realize that yoga is for anyone and it is something that can be modified for all fitness levels. So, when you are ready to try it you can find a great workout online or locate a class at a gym near you.
Personally, I have found these benefits of yoga to be extremely valuable. I am so glad I decided to take that free class that was offered at my gym.
I’ve even found a favorite pose! I am really starting to love inversions because they are fun, challenging, and let’s be honest… they just look really, really cool!
Here are a few pics of me at home…
I have some great tips on how to get started with headstands you can check them out HERE.
We would love to see some pictures of you practicing your favorite pose! Post them in the MLH Facebook group and tag me! I can always use a little more inspirations 🙂
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