Yoga is taking over the world – of all things.
There are far worse habits to become popular.
As generations seek lives away from the grind and hustle that has been laid before us, seeking movement as medicine, and the need to find a place of calm seems like a natural step.
It’s one that is eventually being taken through the power of yoga and the ever-growing wellness industry that has stemmed from it.
While there are many modern practitioners all across the world, yoga’s roots will always remain in India.
The practice began through Buddhism, as a way to strengthen the mind and body to prepare for meditation. The practice releases energy and clears out the old to make way for the new.
If you are looking at this as someone who has never done yoga before, this may be a little lost on you.
Yoga finds flexibility and space in the body and mind, here’s how it could improve your mental and physical health:
Form a Positive Habit
Establishing habits that you are conscious of making can be a rewarding process. However, it takes time, patience and diligence.
There are numerous studies and books that tap into how it is done. Healthy habits take an average of 21 days to be formed. The mind works in mysterious ways, however, with the idea of having a reward, habits can be conscious formed over time.
To integrate the habit of practice yoga into your life, you have the reward of feeling strength and flexibility in your body as well as clarity in your mind. Through practicing regularly, your body will start to crave these feelings – establishing a healthy habit.
The difference between yoga and other forms of movement is that yoga teaches positivity around the practice. There is no practice of dread or ideas of being hard on yourself, it’s about doing what you can do and finding the strength that you already have in you. As it is positive from the start, you’ll find that its easier to form the habit as you look forward to your practice.
It’s easy to fall out of healthy habits as it is to fall into them. It’s not something to beat yourself up about, at some point, your body will crave these feelings again in the same way that you crave chocolate or hot tea. Then you know it is time to return.
Over time, your physical body and your mind will strengthen, and you’ll seek out this healthy habit as much as you can as it becomes routine.
Moving with the Breath
The foundation of yoga is the breath. After all, the practice was born to be a warm up to meditation.
Breathing in and out takes you through the motions. As you find the poses, you find your breath to look into what your body is capable of.
The match of movement to breath eases and strengthens the muscles, which results in a healthy and dynamic body. Following these motions will allow you to identify pains and unease in your body, and arm you with the tools to soothe it.
When you do this regularly. You are meditating already. This simple act of following the breath is a tool that you will come back to again and again as you move on in your wellness journey. It will lead you to heal feelings of anxiety, reduce stress and even tap into any mental health issues that you may be experiencing.
The more you practice, the more you will find strength both inside and out.
Asanas and Flow
Yoga is as difficult as you want it to be.
When you first start out, you’ll probably think that this is a lie.
Your body will start to discover a new muscle groups as you move through the motions. What first seems calming and flowing to watch can be very challenging to experience.
It’s not easy.
Similar to learning to surf or even ride a bike, yoga is a practice that develops muscle memory, however, these muscles are also your chakras and the poses and postures asanas. They are designed to connect the body and mind.
As you move through the movements of yoga, you’ll find that the postures become easier as you build strength.
When you practice yoga, you feel strong.
The practice is exactly that, a practice; there is right and wrong, however, this is only to encourage you to take care of your body, only ever going as far as you feel the need to.
The mental benefits of training for a practice that preaches only doing what you can and to a point where you feel comfortable reflects valuable lessons for your mental well-being. It encourages you to do all that you can.
When you practice yoga there is no competition.
Even if there was, most of the time your eyes are closed anyway.
Yoga is a practice of self-care. As with all other self-care practices, it takes time to see the benefits.
There are so many benefits that you can get from starting and maintaining a regular yoga practice.
As you connect your mind and body more often, you’ll start to recognise your body’s ability and feel more confident that you have to tools to take care of it.