Did you go to yoga class today? Yes? No? Ten years ago, I would have said no way. I would have complained about the slower pace and the long classes. I’d start listing all the things I could do instead. Today, my outlook is different. I go too fast, my mind always wanders, and my body needs restoration. Yoga is THE perfect solution! Last week, we talked about starting a new fitness routine this year. Check out the post here. Today, I’ll give you my 4 reasons to love yoga, and why you should add it to your fitness routine (if you haven’t already).
One of my top reasons to love yoga is that it forces me to be present. It is really hard for me to be present because something is always competing for my attention (e.g., deadlines, electronic devices, needs of others). When I’m not present, I miss out on communication with others and I also miss out on my internal communication. Yoga is a mental challenge because you have to be present and tune into your body. Connecting with your breath helps with being present and in the moment because you must tune out the distractions of the world and tune into your body. I’ll admit, after 30 minutes in class, I used to watch the clock because that was my attention limit. With time, I’ve been able to increase my stamina and make it through a 60-minute class. It’s helped me to enjoy yoga immensely!
Yoga is all about breathing. The use of breath is essential for any type of exercise. When you take a yoga class, the instructor will constantly tell you to inhale and exhale. Specifically, he/she is instructing you to exhale during the hardest part of the movement and inhale during the easier part of the movement. This gives you the energy to push through, supplies the body with much-needed oxygen, regulates your blood pressure, and helps to avoid dizziness. There is a lot of fascinating information available about the benefits of breathing in yoga. Check out the article here for additional information.
Yoga provides an amazing way to counter the work our muscles do every single day. In cardio activities, we strengthen muscles, but we also shorten them because we constantly contract our muscles. Similarly, normal activities like driving a car and working on a computer challenge our posture, among other things. All of these activities can lead to injury, tight hips, back pain, and other common ailments. Yoga helps to lengthen the muscles, decompress the spine, and strengthen the core. Long, lean muscles not only look amazing, but they also help you avoid injury and improve your posture.
Have you done a chaturanga lately? If so, you know it’s not easy. In this pose, you are engaging your entire body because it’s a low plank. Just think about it: your upper body, lower body, and abdominals are all working as you hold the pose. Now do it several times in a 60-minute class. You can imagine how much stronger you’ll be! That is why so many yogis have amazing muscle tone, and why this is another reason to love yoga!
There are many more reasons to love yoga, but I’ve just touched on a few that I can speak to personally. I encourage you to give yoga a try if you haven’t already. A variety of yoga classes are available in person and even online. The experience level can vary from beginner to advanced, so look for a class that’s suitable for you.
If you have a favorite yoga class, I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!