As a yoga teacher, I often hear people describe how yoga has transformed their lives. That's one of the reasons many yogi gurus believe that yoga was created more than 5000 years ago — for a sense of peace and relaxation.
With so many people joining the yoga movement, I want to share with you a few reasons why I think that every single person should be a part of it:
1. You learn to breathe.
When you deepen your breath, not only do you strengthen your lung muscles, you also teach your body and mind how to deal with stressful situations by calming your nervous system. Through your breath, you can learn how to respond responsibly once your body has had time to digest a situation.
2. You learn to stay in a challenging position.
Many people have the misconception that yoga is just stretching and is easy; however, many styles of yoga have postures that challenge you so that you learn to deal with challenges without running away from them. I teach a form of hot yoga that's just a challenge to stay in a room of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Yoga teaches you that if you breathe through difficulty you can become stronger than if you run away.
3. Balancing poses challenge your ego.
It's not easy to stand on one leg for one minute. Your mind starts to blame, judge and criticize after a few seconds. The ego wants to know why you can't do the pose like the yoga poster that's on the door of the yoga studio. During balancing, you have to make a choice to rid yourself of wanting to be perfect and accept yourself for who you are, or you'll keep on falling out of the pose and creating negativity that compromises your sense of peace.
4. You learn where to place your energy.
In yoga, you learn about placement of energy. If you spend your time telling yourself that you aren't good enough and beating yourself up about poses, it is energy that won't help you progress in peace. If you spend your time wanting to compete with the person next to you, it won't help you peacefully progress either. However, if you focus your energy on yourself and the pose, you have a great chance of having a peaceful and enjoyable yoga practice.
5. Each pose has a different benefit for your physical health.
From backbends to spine strengtheners, from core strengtheners to abdominal stretches, from compression poses to releasing poses, yoga has a wide array of health benefits. Yoga styles vary, but most of them have a common trait: people who practice many forms of yoga improve flexibility and tone their muscles all in one yoga session.