An ancient practice, yoga has become increasingly popular in our busy modern world. For a lot of people, yoga offers a kind of escape from their chaotic and stressful lives. This is true whether you’re in an ashram in India or on a secondhand mat in your own bedroom. There are endless reasons that people love yoga; many of them are about the way you feel during your practice. A good yoga session is quite cathartic; you’ll relax, stretch, meditate, challenge yourself, and enjoy the improvements you make from day to day. However, many of the benefits of yoga carry over beyond the mat into your everyday life. Here are a few of these benefits.
Help achieving or maintaining a healthy weight
Yoga can help you achieve or maintain the weight you want in several different ways. Besides burning calories and helping you build muscle, yoga can also make you a more mindful eater. Yoga teaches you to focus all of your attention on the present moment, whether you’re taking a shower, reading a book, or consuming a meal. If you find that you eat when you aren’t hungry, eat without even tasting your food, eat in response to cues other than hunger (such as the sight of food or boredom), eat when sad or stressed, or eat while distracted by other things (such as a TV show), then yoga can help you learn to harness your focus and tune into what your body needs – and then make healthier choices in response.
If you practice yoga, then you know that it can soothe tension and anxiety in your mind as well as your body. However, you may not know that it can also have a positive impact on your exercise capacity. People who practice yoga regularly have greater endurance, strength, and flexibility. Yoga can also improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, improve lipid profiles, regulate blood sugar levels, and more. Yoga is completely customizable to the fitness level of the participant, so no matter where you’re starting out, you can move forward from there and make improvements in your overall health and fitness.
A healthier body image
One of the best things that yoga can do for you is to help develop your inner awareness. You’ll learn to focus your attention on your body’s abilities in the present moment, gently directing your thoughts to your breath and the strength of your body and mind – not your physical appearance. There’s a reason that many yoga studios don’t have mirrors. It’s so that you can pay attention to your inner awareness instead of how you look in a particular pose. As you practice yoga more and learn to appreciate your strength and abilities, you’ll naturally become happier with your body and less critical of its perceived flaws. And body positivity is something we could all use a little more of, yes?
These are just a few examples of how yoga can change your life for the better, and these benefits last through the days, months, and years, long after you leave the mat. Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can change the future. Whether you find an online yoga video to do in your living room, join a class in your community, or travel around the world in search of ultimate wisdom, don’t wait another day to give yoga a try. It won’t take long to see the positive effects it can have on your life.