How adding a Yoga Routine has benefitted my life and will benefit yours too! I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years. I still remember my first class and how I felt on the drive home, belting out Emotion by Destiny’s Child (that would be Beyonce’s original crew for you younger folk). Although I signed up for the class because I thought yoga would give me a Jennifer Aniston body, I knew I was hooked for the sense of peace, gratitude, and presence that I felt in that moment. And over the years my practice has transformed from a physical competition in an attempt to beat yoga into an essential part of making me a better person on a day to day basis.
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Here are just three benefits that I have experienced from a regular yoga routine:
- Mindfulness: Just like I remember my first yoga class, I remember the first time I actually tried to take the Shavasana seriously and not use it as a nap. I remember watching my thoughts and hearing the teacher talking about guiding them back. I remember yelling at myself for them wandering so quickly and hearing the teacher say, and don’t judge yourself if they wander. Being mindful and present seemed impossible. But slowly and surely, I continued. I learned the principles of meditation and was able to enhance my ability to stay present, notice my judging, and to not even judge my judging. I am able to use my breath in and out of practice to bring me to a centering moment, to quiet the noise, and trust myself.
- Flexibility: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.” This quote lines the windows of my home yoga studio and I love what it encapsulates. Not only has yoga given me a flexible body which helps with pain and injury prevention, but it also teaches me the flexibility in life. It helps to relieve some of my Type A tendencies, be more forgiving, and how to go with the flow.
- Gratitude: Nothing has given me greater happiness in my life than gratitude. And nowhere has my gratitude been strengthened more than in my yoga practice. Suddenly the belly fat that I wish would vanish has nothing on the strength and beauty of my legs. My appreciation for time, space, and community within my practice is always acknowledged. My journey in my practice, and in my life is more easily recognized. And when I am able to pull this in and bottle it up, I am able to spread the love and gratitude around.