Good morning everyone and happy Sunday to you 🙂
Let’s talk about this love we all have in common, this passion that unites each and every one of us reading here this morning. Our love for yoga. We may not all have an equal love, or the same kind of love; we have all arrived here in this spot today following different paths, so yoga may fulfill different needs for each of us. However, in general, we can all reap the same benefits from having this shared love. These benefits are what keep us coming back.
It’s a crazy thing that practicing these poses, these asanas, performing simple flows, moving the body in this specific way can all connect us, can unite us. But isn’t that what yoga means? ‘To unite,’ ‘unity.’ So what is it that yoga provides for us outside of just simply ‘stretching’ and moving the body? What causes us to continue to roll out our mats?
Well the list in my mind seems endless, but I will start with just three.
Benefit #1: One of the most important benefits to me is the practice of mindfulness. What exactly is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the state of bringing one’s attention to the present moment, noticing how one feels in this moment, in the body, in the mind, and finding acceptance towards those feelings.
Giving ourselves fully to the present moment for a given time can really alter the way we think! It allows us to create space in the mind, allowing us to step back from our emotions and feelings to take a look at them, rather than just feeling and reacting. I find that when practicing yoga, I can handle stressful situations with a much clearer mind. I don’t feel as stressed in stressful situations because I can mentally take a step back, think about why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, and then choose how to go from there. Rather than just feeling the stress and not know how to go forward with it.
Practicing yoga and practicing mindfulness allows me to have these negative emotions and deal with them better. I can sit with them, notice them, and think about why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, which in turn allows me to cope with them in a more positive way.
Benefit #2: Another benefit that has changed my mindset about myself completely is the mind-body connection. Realizing that your body is not just a set of limbs attached to your neck, but your body is YOU, it is who you are! As someone who struggled with body image for many years, yoga was what changed my mindset and allowed me to realize that my body isn’t just a tool I could force to run 6 miles a day in order to look a certain way. Instead, my body is something that deserves to be loved, to be nourished, to be treated well and to be listened to. Having this mind-body connection brings a much more positive and confident mindset. An allowance, a ticket, to love myself, exactly how it is. Yes please.
But not only does this mind-body connection allow me to love my ‘self,’ and my body, the way that it is, in turn it makes me want to treat it right. Give it the love it deserves and craves. If that love is a yoga class, sure, if that love is a piece of rhubarb pie, okay. The mind-body connections allows me to listen, to check in. Do you feel that?
Benefit #3: The power of the breath. The connection to the breath. Breathing is of course, a natural bodily function to keep us alive and moving. Before practicing yoga, did you know you could use this function as a tool? A tool to stay strong, a tool to calm the mind, a tool to focus. How crazy is that? That breathing, something our body must do to function, can also be used as a mechanism for so many positive benefits! Not only can one use the breath to stay strong when holding Warrior II for that one extra breath, one can also use the breath to stay strong in everyday situations. A reminder to take a step back, to re-center, to reconnect.
The breath is so powerful. By focusing on the inhales and the exhales, one’s attention can be redirected to the present moment, in order to practice mindfulness. This can be used at any time: in a yoga class, during a stressful situation, even when trying to go to sleep. Allowing the thoughts, your mind, to come back to you.
So here we have just three benefits that I find so positive to our yoga love. There are so many more and I will continue to add to this list in the future. But for now let’s hear from you!
What is one of your favorite benefits you gain from practicing yoga?
Feel free to write in the comments of tag us on Instagram or Facebook 🙂
I hope you are having a lovely weekend, and we are looking forward to seeing at the studio soon.