Yoga is now a major part of Western culture. It started off as a trend, but now it’s now deeply integrated into our mainstream culture. Most cities in America have several yoga studios and it’s become a major part of millions of people’s lives.
Is yoga here to stay? We think so. People love how yoga benefits the mind, body, and spirit. If you practice yoga, you will relate to this article. For those curious about yoga, perhaps this article will persuade you to try it out.
Yoga Improves Your Mind
Because yoga involves a series of poses while in a flow-like state, you strengthen your mind as you work out your body.
Yoga benefits your mind because it teaches you how to breathe deeply and slowly. Unlike short and nervous breathing, long and controlled breaths train your brain to focus on consistent thinking. If you feel like you’re constantly distracted, a yoga session will bring attention back to your inner thoughts.
If you’ve ever been in an anxious state, you know what it’s like to feel your heart rate climb and you lose your ability to think clearly. Because yoga puts you in a state of calm and control, you become more familiar with your body’s way of coping with stress.
Yoga Benefits Your Body
Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of activity to increase your heart rate every day. A typical yoga session lasts for one hour—twice the minimum requirement for living a healthy life.
Because yoga is a flexible workout, you can receive the health benefits at your own pace. Unlike intense workouts like Crossfit or a high-impact sport, you can go about your yoga poses at your own pace.
Plus, it’s a challenge to see how much better you do each session. You may struggle with certain poses, but as you practice over time, you will eventually amaze yourself at what you can do with your body. Practicing yoga allows you to become more fit and flexible.
Yoga Benefits Your Spirit
Yoga is more than a physical and mental workout—it’s a lesson in spirituality, too. Yoga has no affiliation with religion, so you can do yoga regardless of your religious background or lifestyle. The spiritual benefits of yoga are simply universal ways you can use a yoga session to connect yourself to the world.
For example, many people remain in a state of calmness after yoga. Even if you’re not a spiritual person, you cannot help but feel closer to the Earth when you practice yoga. Yoga opens up your senses, so you can experience more of what life has to offer you.
How to Get Started With Yoga
Here are several things to keep in mind if you want to start practicing yoga:
- DVD or face-to-face?
You don’t need to visit a class to do yoga. With a DVD or online program, you can practice yoga in the comfort of your own home. It’s entirely up to you. You may want to begin on your own first so you’re familiar with the poses before a class. It’s a personal decision. There’s zero judgment in yoga, so even if you know nothing about yoga, you can still take a class and not feel unwelcome.
- Learn the basic poses
. A quick YouTube search for “basic yoga poses” will give you all you need to practice a downward facing dog, cat-cow, and warrior’s pose. This BuzzFeed list
may also help.
- Buy a mat
. While yoga studios normally offer mats, you probably want to use your own. You will sweat quite a bit during your yoga sessions.
- Dress appropriately
. Wear light clothing that won’t get in the way during poses. Most retail stores carry yoga clothing now, so it’s not hard to put together an outfit that’s suitable for yoga.
- Find a class you like
. If you go a class and dislike it, don’t let it discourage you. You may just need to find an instructor who teaches in a style you prefer.
Getting started with yoga is easy. You simply show up, do your best, and feel good when you’re done. Namaste!
Photo Credit: BrittneyBush