Guest post by Jordan Klee, photo credits Pixabay
While yoga is one of the fastest growing forms of exercise today, you may not have completely engaged with the entire practice. Yoga is more than the physical practice - it inspires us to grow physically, mentally and personally. If you're not practicing almost every day, even for just 30 minutes, you be one of those people who thinks that yoga is the extra stuff - after the cardio, after the weights, the really necessary exercise.
Yoga causes physical growth
The most obvious way yoga can have a real impact on your life is by helping your body heal and change. To anyone who discounts holding poses and deep breathing exercises because they don’t seem strenuous enough, I challenge you to try it today. If you can tell me that you didn’t wind up activating plenty muscle you weren't aware of before, then I defer to you. What you're more likely to discover is that a full session of yoga poses requires significant physical work.
Each moment you hold a yoga pose allows a number of either neglected or overstimulated muscles to awaken and engage. If you gently hold the pose for a few breaths, you'll start to notice the muscles stretch and contract. A regular yoga practice can release the buildup of toxins and, over time, actually grow your physical potential.
Photo credit Pixabay
By experiencing a daily yoga session, you're not only awaking your body to its fullest potential. You're also repairing your posture, nurturing soreness from other workouts, and stimulating under-used muscles. All the while, you're preparing your body for the next form of exercise you choose to engage in. When you get into that exercise, I challenge you to notice the differences in your range of motion, your balance, your ability to do that exercise well. That's enough motivation to convince many of us to try that next hike, bike ride, or climb.
Yoga inspires mental growth
Just in case you're not yet convinced to download a yoga class and roll out your mat, consider the mental fog that gets cleared away when you exercise. Everyone feels that at atimes and often without realizing how it affects their productivity and every day life experiences. A daily yoga session, no matter what time of day, can make a big impact. When you hit the mat regularly, you'll quickly start to notice that the breathwork required to carry you through the poses is mind-clearing.
The combination of bringing in more oxygen and then contracting the muscles needed to really expel all that stale wiar is an invigorating sensation for your brain, one that simply cannot be matched by another activity.
A yoga class that you've fully engaged with can leave you feeling revitalized and mentally open. All of the increased blood flow heightens your focus and increases your productivity. Your awareness is activated and creativity is stimulated, so whatever you plan to do with the rest of your day is simply easier and better.
Photo credit Pixabay
"Try making time for one session a day for an entire week, and take note of the differences in your energy levels and how satisfied you feel with your work at the end of each day. It can be an incredible boost in self confidence, especially for people who have long been stuck wading through that mental fog." - Jordan
Yoga creates personal growth
If you’re already happy with the way your brain and body feel as you move through each day, then you’re likely suffering from another issue: you probably make too little time to focus on yourself and your life goals.
Today’s westerner is surrounded every second of every day by billions of choices, opportunities and distractions, all of which leaves many of us overly stressed, overworked, and under-rested. Even if you have achieved your dream job and love every minute of your work, you’re still probably over-stimulating your brain on a daily basis and not using enough down time to recharge. Solving this problem is another important way that yoga can change your life, if you commit to it.
During those minutes you choose to spend on the mat, you're also choosing to learn to shut down your thoughts, put aside distractions, and learn to simply be. To be present to experience your breathing, to become aware of and comfortable with who you are in the silence of your mind. Over time, the meditative aspects of yoga will fine-tune your awareness of your actions and thoughts throught the day. It will guide you to re-evaluate them and improve in whatever way you recognize is most beneficial to you.
You may find that you dislike your reactions to other people and want to become more comfortable with seeing them with an open mind. You may find you want to be more present in your minute-to-minute experiences. The focus on you is an essential part of personal growth and yoga assists with that.
Whatever your feelings toward a regular yoga practice, I hope you better understand how truly beneficial it can be for anyone. No matter what your current lifestyle or situation, if there's something you want to improve upon in your life, introducing yourself to yoga just may be the key to success.
Jordan is the beauty and brains behind Beautifully Alive. She loves eating healthy and trying new recipes.The self-proclaimed Zumba Queen has a passion for beauty products and loves reading new books. She's always down for a DIY project!