Yoga is pretty much all the rave right now. While I understand that most people don’t like to do things simply because they’re “in” – seriously, I understand; I refused to get an iPhone just because everyone had one for so long that I just became anti iPhones even though I now have an iPad and iMac – I do believe in not questioning motives if the “rave” is a healthy one. So, whether you want to do it for genuine reasons or simply because everyone else is doing it, here are 5 reasons why you should be practicing yoga:
You become stronger and more flexible
It happens slowly, over time, with patience. At first, you can’t get into a certain pose and you forget about it for a while. You just keep practicing with that favorite yoga app of yours or favorite yoga YouTube channel. And then one day, out of the blue, you decide to try that pose again and all of a sudden, you’re balancing on your forearms or touching your toes. I mean, there’s a lesson in patience here and that’s probably a whole other reason why you should be practicing yoga . However, the real lesson here is consistent time spent on your mat will inevitably lead to you being stronger and more flexible. It’s not something you can rush, but it’s something that will happen eventually. And a strong, flexible body, is a happy body.
You develop a healthier heart
If anyone tells you yoga doesn’t count as cardio, have them do 5 rounds of Sun Salutation A and 5 rounds of Sun Salutation B in a row, fast paced. Then check their heart rate when they’re done. If you’re looking to get in a good cardio workout, you can totally incorporate that into your yoga practice. Really, yoga is a one stop shop for a well-rounded, healthy body. Why do you care about a healthy heart? Well, for one, the American Heart Association recommends that you get in 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week. If the A.H.A. recommends it, it has to be improtant right? However, on a more serious note, a healthy heart helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
You develop a healthier spiritual life
When it comes to yoga and spirituality, there are quite a few misconceptions about it being steeped in a specific religion. But really, yoga is a spiritual blank slate. It doesn’t force you to be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist or whatever. It just encourages you to acknowledge that there is a higher power at work in your life. Now, as a Christian, I obviously personally encourage you to work on developing a relationship with Christ (see how you can incoporate God in your yoga practice). Time on your mat is great for quieting your mind when there are too many thoughts floating around and it’s also a ideal for meditating on scripture.
You look good physically… and feel good too
Some might call this one vanity, but really, James said “Do not be deceived brethren, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:16-17). I like to think of my body as a gift from God and in order to honor that gift, I have to take care of it. It’s just a wonderful by product that I end up liking what I see in the mirror . Seriously though, if you’re patient, committed and consistent, you will definitely start to see a change, for the better, in your body physically. Yoga is currently the only form of exercise I practice and over the past few months, I’ve seen my body get stronger and more toned.
You can find your yoga
Yes, yoga can be hardcore and sweaty and leave you feeling muscles in your body you never even knew you had. However, yoga can also be calm, easygoing and relaxing. So if you don’t feel like getting all sweaty and working out till you can’t walk or lift your arms, you can try hatha yoga, restorative yoga or yin yoga. These are all slow paced classes that don’t stress you out but still give your muscles a yummy stretch. Now if you’re on the other end of the spectrum and you need to feel that burn to know you’ve done something tangible with your body, ashtanga or power yoga will leave you sweaty and energized.
I could probably come up with 5 more reasons why you should be practicing yoga, but if looking good physically didn’t seal the deal for you, I’m not sure I can convince you any further. 😀 What are you waiting for? You don’t need a lot of equipment to start and I’ve even shared some great online resources to galvanize your yoga journey.
Stop dilly dallying and start living a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to join me on instagram, the instagram yoga community is also great for keeping you motivated and inspired. Finally, I totally understand if yoga just doesn’t do it for you. The ultimate goal is to be healthier, so get off your couch, put down that device and give your body 30 minutes of activity today. And then tomorrow. And then the day after that.
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