The yoga that many of us know and love is the asana form of yoga, the physical practice. While this is wonderful, and a great vessel for change, it’s amazing how much broader yoga can really be.
Many people talk about the transformative nature of yoga, but often times these can feel hard to obtain as a new practitioner because they are often lofty, almost unearthly goals. So what are a few things, right off the bat, that yoga can do for you from a transformational perspective?
1.) Yoga Can Subdue That iPhone Addiction
Often times you see signs in yoga studios that say “no phones allowed” and this is for good reason. In yoga, the idea is to be present and focused on what is happening in that time and space. By removing your phone or device from the room, you are removing the temptation or curiosity, which can actually help you start to kick that habit.
2.) Yoga Can Help Your Breathing
Depending on the type of yoga you do, you might learn about pranayama, or the practice of breath work. There are many different techniques that target certain goals. For example in vinyasa, we often practice Ujjayi which is that deep throaty raspy fire breath with the lips sealed. The goal is to not only give you something to focus on but to create an internal heat - try it out sometime; it’s pretty amazing!
3.) Yoga Can Decrease Anxiety
There are many studies that point to meditation and yoga as a great way to still the mind and reduce anxiety. The practice of focusing on your breath, your body and your movements can be a wonderful distraction and way to get out of your head. Give it a try on a Sunday afternoon to kick those Sunday Scaries!
4.) Yoga Can Give You A Whole New Friend Group
Whether you practice at a studio or a gym, yoga is a wonderful way to meet new people. Studios often host community events beyond just yoga and, if you show up to class 10 or 15 minutes early, it can be fun to sit around and chat with the instructors and other practitioners. You never know; they could become your new besties!
5.) Yoga Can Help You To Let Go Of Attachments
One of the best parts about yoga is that it allows you to start detaching from the expected outcomes of situations. Whether you go into your yoga practice with the expectation of landing a certain pose, transitioning in a certain way, or meditating with a still mind for an hour, it’s always amazing how some part of the practice will probably not go as expected. In yoga, we learn that this is ok and this is where we can grow. When we learn to let go of the attachment to expectation, we can end up feeling so much more free to enjoy whatever plays out naturally both mentally and physically. Taking that same mentality off the mat isn’t easy, but it is doable. And, after just a bit of regular practice, is certainly attainable at some level.
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