Yoga….and me? Never thought I’d be the one to enthusiastically implement the art of yoga into my daily life. However, you know how they say that when you open up your mind and heart to new experiences – those experiences end up being the most important aspects of your life? Well, no one really said that…I just kind of made that up. You see, there were a couple of reasons why I was always hesitant in pursuing yoga, which is the reason that also led me to believe that yoga would not be a part of my life. This belief stemmed as a result of the runner in me. I had this misconception that a low-endurance activity would not benefit my running in ways that strength training did. Fast forward, and yoga has become one of the most important parts of my morning routine. It is almost as if, my morning routine always consisted of yoga.
The benefits of yoga are endless, but I want to talk about the three specific benefits as I have already started seeing these changes in my own life.
- Variety – When you make the decision to go on the yoga mat – you are ultimately choosing to give your body the chance to move in all directions. Yoga consists of movements that involve: twisting, sideways, backwards, forward, on and off the floor, etc. This is particularly helpful for people who are used to one particular sport and/or activity such as cycling, running, etc. When one pursues the same activity day in and day out, there tends to be a certain level of tightness in different parts of the body. This is due to the repetitive movements that come with these activities. For example, runners experience tightness in their hips due to the constant pressure being put on other muscles, and as a result of weakness in the gluteus.
- Posture – Yoga creates an extreme level of consciousness both on and off the mat. For example, since I have started yoga – I am constantly assessing my posture and fixing it throughout the day. This was definitely not the case before. This is not something that I am constantly thinking about, however my mind does pick up on an imbalance in my posture, and I take the initiative to fix it right away. Yoga has shown the importance of understanding my own body by surpassing limitations that I had previously placed upon it. This can be a specific stretch for flexibility and/or holding a certain posture for a period of time. My posture has become very important to me, and I am constantly creating proper alignment throughout the day to make sure I maintain it.
- Being Present – There are an infinite amount of poses that come with the practice of yoga. Each time I am able to hold a pose for a certain amount of time, I realize even more the importance of really understanding the ways in which both my mind and body work together to make this possible. I have had to really become present and have had to immerse myself in the pose itself to understand all the benefits it is having on me. When there is a mind and body connection – the idea of holding the pose becomes effortless. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of holding the posture, I focus on the ways in which I am able to carry out such amazing movements.
Yoga has changed my life – it is a part of my daily morning routine. Not only does it help with the mind and body connection, but it also helps me understand myself in many ways. This all comes from being able to be present in the current moment. Sending you all so much love,