When people think about yoga, for some reason they can only envision contorting themselves into a pretzel with no way of getting out. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. That is not what yoga is about at all; it is so much more.
It’s about strength.
It’s about breath.
It’s about being mindful.
It’s about connecting your mind and body.
And that’s just the beginning.
Whether you’ve just started practicing yoga or are a self-proclaimed yogi, there are many amazing things you may have never known about yoga...until now. Being aware of them can help bring your yoga practice to the next level.
Did you know?...
Yoga Makes You More Productive. Let’s face it. The majority of us have a to-do list that goes on forever. It seems like no matter how hard we try we can never accomplish it all. When you practice yoga you learn to become more mindful. This allows you to focus and examine each task so you can actually complete it and move on to the next. By practicing yoga, that “to-do” list becomes more realistic.
Yoga Improves Digestion. While many people know that yoga can improve strength and flexibility, many do not know it can also improve digestion and help many stomach issues. There are several yoga postures aimed at massaging the internal organs. This helps to keep food moving in the right direction especially since many yoga instructors will have us twisting right then left to follow the same path the digestive system takes. Practicing yoga regularly also reduces stress on the body which can lead to stomach issues. Some researchers think yoga can help people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and similar ailments.
Yoga Can Help Fight Food Cravings & Overeating. Sometimes you feel as though you just need to have that chocolate bar or bag of chips. When you practice yoga, over time you’ll notice those intense cravings start to fade. How? Yoga teaches you to be mindful of your breath. When you are more aware of your breath you begin to strengthen your mind-body connection. As this begins to happen you become less likely to confuse habits with hunger and fill your body with junk. Those food cravings begin to disappear as your mind and body become one.
Yoga is About More Than Flexibility. Many people believe the misconception that you need to be Gumby to do yoga. Wrong! Yoga is about becoming attuned to your body and more self-aware. When some people start to practice yoga they may not even be able to touch their toes. That’s okay. Extreme flexibility is not a requirement for yoga. If you are able to calm your body, look within and begin to feel that mind-body connection, you are getting the true benefits of a yoga practice. The strength and flexibility that come from doing yoga repeatedly are just bonuses to the benefits of the mindful practice.
Savasana Pose (Corpse Pose) at the End of Yoga is Extremely Important. Don’t skip out at the end of practice because everyone looks like they’re sleeping. They are actually in Savasana pose, otherwise known as corpse pose. Although it may look like the body is doing nothing, Savasana is actually one of the most important poses in yoga. It allows the body to de-stress and return to its natural state. In order to fully reap the benefits of this pose, your mind and body need to be calm. For many of us, this is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Our minds are always racing to the next thing we need to do or the next place we need to be. That is why this pose is so challenging, yet so vital to the full yoga experience. Savasana helps to solidify the yoga practice. There is no greater rejuvenation for the body than this pose. The next time you're considering skipping out on the last few minutes of the class, think of how much you’d be cheating your mind and body. You owe it to yourself to experience real Savasana.
Being aware of these aspects and benefits of yoga will bring your practice to a new level of self-awareness, one that can ultimately change your awareness, life and body.