With all the new fitness trends coming up nowadays, people often ask me Why Yoga? What makes yoga so unique that I recommend it to everyone?
The benefits you get from starting a consistent practice are enormous & I can write a whole book about it, but aside for the well known (improves flexibility, builds endurance, tones muscles, promotes better sleep & digestion), here are my top 5 reasons for getting on the mat today!
#1 Forces You to Take Time for Yourself
How many times have you felt guilty for drawing yourself a longer bath or sleeping in 30 min longer than usual? Or, better yet, how many times were you even able to fit it in your schedule? We are living in a crazy, busy world, constantly on-the-go, without realizing how important it is to take some time out of your day and spend it on ourselves. Yoga “forces” us to do it – spend those 60-75 min taking care of our body and mind, not worrying about what happened before we entered the shala & not anticipating what’s about to happen when we leave. We are allowed to enter our own little bubble of yoga bliss & self-care.
#2 Mandatory Relaxation
If that first one made you think, I got one more crazy question for you: When was the last time you actually, purposely, relaxed? Snacking in front of a Netflix series doesn’t count 🙂
Every asana in yoga leads to the final shavasana (or corpse pose), which is a pose we worked hard the entire class for. Staying present while experiencing the full relaxation of every single muscle is super hard, because when all the movement stops, our brains naturally let the thoughts come in, and we start thinking about that email we didn’t send, groceries we need to pick up, or how we have to remember to fill out that paperwork. Immediately, all the yoga stops.
All the benefit comes from the release, so make sure to enjoy that last asana, let the whole practice sink in, focus on your breath…and be present.
#3 Teaches You How to Listen to Your Body
Ah…respecting our body’s limits can be such a hard thing to do…especially if we’re hard on ourselves and want to see & feel progress as soon as possible. We all remember a time when we started a “summer diet” in May, expecting to see miracles in July, and also when we signed up for that new crazy cycling class promising us “The Best Body Ever” in only 30 days…
We want results and we want them now…but that is not how our bodies work 🙂 Yoga teaches us to listen, tune into ourselves and practice patience…progress will come, we just have to work on it and respect our limits.
#4 Makes You Respect How Everyday is Different
How is it possible to do a perfect balancing asana on Monday, but feel like you’re hungover on Tuesday? (ok, unless you partied all night haha :))
Our hormones & our gut dictate pretty much everything in our bodies, and they react to the food we eat, how much zzzz of sleep we get, what type of workouts we do, level of stress we encounter, the climate & weather we live in, our water intake…every single day. And the same way none of those factors are identical every day of the week, our practice changes accordingly. We, women, have another MAJOR reason for it as well…our cycle! Our bodies literally change every week of our cycle, and therefore, so does our yoga practice. Instead of stressing about it and wondering why you can’t go deeper in your wheel, explore other asanas & learn how to respect your body and its changes.
#5 Makes Your Feel Good
If all of this still didn’t really phase you & you’re on the brink of deciding whether to do it or not, do it cause it will make you feel so damn good! I promise you, the feeling you get after a class where you set an intention for YOU, dedicated the time to YOU, and focused & worked on YOU, is one of the best feelings you can ever experience.
Oh, and you get to wear some cute yoga clothes too 🙂
So, now, the only left to do is grab a yoga mat and show up.
XOX, Karla Tafra
Yoga 💕 Nutrition 💕Fitness