Yoga is a series of stretches and poses done with breathing techniques.
I have never found it simple. I don’t struggle so much with the physical side of it but more the mental side. After about 10 minutes (maybe even less) I start to think about everything, I struggle to focus and I have to try really hard to stay still, mindful and in the moment.
Here are some of the reasons why I’m going to keep trying it (and why you should too)
#1- Flexibility, Strength, Mobility-
Flexibility is defined as the range of motion of your joints or the ability of your joints to move freely. It also refers to the mobility of your muscles, which allows for more movement around the joints.
Strength is the quality or state of being strong, both in terms of physical exertion and endurance.
Mobility refers to ones ability to move through ranges of motion freely and easily.
Increased flexibility without strength = joint instability.
If you become hyper mobile your ligaments become loose. This causes a problem because our ligaments hold our joints together by connecting bone to bone. If they become too loose they don’t go back to the way they were. For example; a rubber band gets stretched out and goes back to how it was, play dough gets stretched out and stays stretched out.
Increased strength without flexibility = soft tissue tears, strains and postural changes.
Without being flexible and mobile you won’t be able to go through the full range of motion of the strength exercise. For example; if you don’t have mobility/flexibility through your hips and ankles you will struggle getting depth in your squat and the strength won’t count for much.
How does yoga help?
Well, let’s think of a burpee.. If you lack the flexibility to get your hands to the floor and the strength to control your core shoulders to lower your chest to the floor then…
Getting back up is going to be hard work too… how will you jump your feet all the way back to your hands?
Yoga will make burpees easier by increasing mobility, flexibility and strength, yoga will even make burpees more fun and best of all yoga doesn’t even make you do burpees!
As we learn to balance on one leg and twist our bodies into pretzels we are learning patience and self love. If we can learn to be patient with ourselves then we can surely learn to be patient with others around us.
Also, just like with any workout our bodies will produce endorphins and endorphins make you happy as well! Elle Woods put it well when she said “Happy people just don’t kill their husbands” (or wives! – Ed).
#3- Better Sleep
There are some poses that are intended to be done before sleep and in general practice that help you to unwind and relax. First of all yoga is a meditation technique, it teaches you to control your breathing and to focus on the present. The holding of poses give your body a nice stretch decreasing physical stress which in turn allows you to relax and forget your stress and….
Not all meditation is about putting you to sleep, some are really good for waking you up and increasing your energy levels. For example backbends extend your spine and hips allowing your body to open up and be ready for action!
#4- Stress Relief
Yoga involves meditation and encourages us to bring your awareness to your body. As we practice we are focusing on our breath and our bodies, clearing our minds of stress both mental and physical. Leaving us feeling fresh inside and out. We don’t have to wait for a yoga session to be on near you either. There are plenty of ways to access yoga sessions online whenever and wherever we are.
Locked in the bathroom because the kids won’t leave you alone? Yoga’s got your back.
Boss giving you a hard time? Put a mat down in the break room and get your flow on.
#5- Better Posture
Even if you start out slouched over from your days sitting at a desk, yoga will encourage your body to lengthen. Your spine and limbs will be stretched and encouraged into good posture (then you’ll be twisted into a pretzel). Increased flexibility, core stability and strength will mean you can support yourself in good posture and with good posture you will look taller!
#6- It’s a Challenge!
If you have trouble touching your toes, find it difficult standing on one leg, struggle staying focused or find it hard doing a handstand then, you should do yoga. Even if you can do those things you should still do yoga, to make sure you can keep doing them!
So, 6 good reasons to do it. If you’re still not sold I did also read somewhere that it makes our body odour better but I couldn’t find much to support this, so I’ll let you know on that one next time we’re in a session together!
Did I mention no burpees?
See you at yoga!