By Mary Poorman
Most of us have given this excuse for not trying yoga or not going back after the first yoga class we have taken…..But really? Saying you are not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath, or your car is too empty to fill with gas. It’s not logical. You can’t expect to undo years of inflexibility in a couple of yoga classes either. Yoga is a “practice” and for that reason, when not done consistently, it can be a bit difficult. Yes, there are those few who physiologically are born more flexible than others, just like there are those you can put behind a piano a few times and they can play Mozart’s Piano Concerto 27, but for the rest of us we need to learn and practice, practice, practice. As well, yoga is not just about flexibility. It is also about strength, balance and focus.
So you have “ONE” excuse for not trying or continuing a yoga practice, let’s go over the many reasons TO start a yoga practice. The benefits to a regular yoga practice are plenty – but here are just a few:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- Maintained, balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved athletic performance
- Protection from injury
Aside from the array of physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps you manage stress, which we all know can have devastating effects on the body and mind. Yoga helps develop coping skills and taking on a more positive outlook on life.
Yoga is popular that’s for sure, but yoga is not new. It is has been around for thousands of years so it’s clearly not a fad. The increased popularity is proof that many people value a system that engages the mind, body and spirit in equal measure. Will you feel all of these benefits after the first class? Most likely not – once you take a few classes, learn the terminology and get comfortable on your mat, you will start to ease into the practice and feel your body and mind open in ways you never thought they could. If you have never done yoga give it a FEW tries and see what it can do for you.
Mary Poorman – yoga instructor at yogaLOFT Milwaukee, www.yogaloftmke.com.