Why I Yoga: Tips To Find Your Flow From Our In-House Yogi (Plus A 5 Minute Practice You Can Do At Home)
Let’s be honest — between trying to keep up with everything from food fads to social pressures, this information overload we cope with on a daily basis can be a bit overwhelming and take a toll on us.
Somewhere along the way, “healthy” became super complicated. Rather than listening to everything else that’s going on in the world, sometimes what we need most is to simply listen to ourselves. This amazing practice we know as yoga, allows us to pause + tune inward – supplying our mind, body, and soul with impactful tools to become a happier and healthier version of ourselves.
It’s meant to be tailored to you and taken at your own pace with variations that fuel YOUR soul – knowing that the person next to you is focusing on their personal practice and not yours. You don’t need to be flexible, fit, or a yogi to practice and reap the benefits of this practice, rather be honest with yourself, what you’re capable of, and truly honor what your mind, body, and soul is asking for.
Whether it’s to stay fit or to stay sane, one of the many beautiful parts about yoga is that it’s a raw, personal practice.
Yoga isn’t “easy” – and that’s the beauty. Putting ourselves in a space that challenges us both mentally and physically can create the change we may be yearning for. Sure, I shake and I sweat as I try to hold my posture for just another second longer, but rather than letting my mind tell me, this is tough (aka “this really sucks… seriously, why did I come to this”) and give up, I focus on my breath – and trust my body to do the rest.
All too often, our minds will give up before our body. When we start to shift our focus more on our breathing as we move or hold postures, we also allow the present moment to take place and we can experience something deeper than just the physical postures – that’s why I yoga.
Have you noticed that one of the first things to go when we face challenges is our breath? So breathe. Take special notice of the present, of the simple moments. And maybe make time to schedule in a new activity that forces you to get a little uncomfortable. You’re strong enough to handle the challenges life throws at you!
While I love the feeling of a high-intensity workout and a super productive day, it’s important to give ourselves balance with stillness. For me, when confrontations, setbacks, heartaches, and hard times happened, I wasn’t actually dealing with them because I would make myself so busy that I wouldn’t have to. Or so I thought. I really just thought that they would disappear and boom, vanish! I also couldn’t figure out why I felt stuck in other places in my life. Until yoga.
When we practice movement for our body and stillness for our mind, the benefits are not only contagious but also endless.
It’s like unveiling the heavy layers we’ve accumulated over our life to get back to our true self or unlocking a door to another perspective; a perspective of who we truly are. When we give our mind and body the love and care it needs, this shift in perspective allows us to see clearer, feel stronger and be authentically you.
Yoga helped open me. I had no choice but to see and feel what was right in front of me. I sat with my thoughts and my mind, not able to avoid them any longer – I was so present that it was uncomfortable, yet I felt so alive. Often times when we stay stuck in our own ways or our comfort zone, the change that happens appears to be at a snail’s pace – or none at all. But when we allow ourselves to get uncomfortable we make room for change, for growth. And then suddenly things begin to align.
When I began practicing yoga a few years ago, I was solely seeking a good sweat, to stay fit and connect with some amazing humans. Then as I continued to expand my practice and experiences, staying fit began to drop on my list of why I was showing up to my mat. (Now don’t get me wrong, I love the physical benefits to yoga too, especially after a run or an at-home gua sha treatment!) I know my body thanks me for movement to help with muscle strength, flexibility, blood flow, lymphatic drainage, the list just continues – so much goodness that we can give ourselves.
Yoga has different benefits and meaning to everyone – maybe you’re activating new muscle groups or finding gratitude where you wouldn’t normally notice it – here’s a few of my favorite’s to “why I yoga”:
- Relieve stress — relax and destress the mind.
- Increase Brain function — goodbye 5 cups of coffee and hello yoga!
- “Bliss out” — increase presence, mood, and gratitude.
- Decrease body tension — better flexibility and alignment.
- Improve physical fitness — exercise and muscle strength.
- Body System TLC — improve function of internal organs, lymphatic drainage, and boost immunity.
- Self Realization + Mental Awareness
Yoga has truly helped strengthen my body + mind, which ultimately has had a major impact on other areas of life as well. In yoga, we can take what we practice and learn on our mat and apply it into our daily life.
I know the benefits of yoga aren’t only for me to hold onto but to share with others (like you!) to experience and feel as well. I encourage you to find what’s best for YOU and make time for it because you absolutely deserve it.
So grab your mat, hit play below and let’s flow!