Born in India, almost 26,000 years ago, yoga is believed to have evolved during the period of the 'Sat Yuga' which is known as their Golden Age – an era in India known for everlasting peace and abundant blessings; filled with seekers of the Eternal Truth. Which is why, even in today's day and age, the word 'yoga' alone radiates peace and tranquility, its meaning is 'to join or unite’. The idea of yoga was for the individual self to unite with their Cosmic Consciousness or the Universal Spirit and yoga was and still is a means to achieve this goal.
It's funny because most people see yoga as this stretching exercise with a bunch of girls in very stretchy clothes who try to tie themselves into very complicated knots for an hour. But, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Yoga is integration and mastery over all levels of the mind, so not only are you working out your body physically but you are also working out your mind mentally. Not to mention that yoga relaxes and puts you in a zen level of peace through Savasana which is a type of meditation that is done at the end of every practice. I find Savasana to be the hardest pose of all, because there are always 100 thoughts running through your mind and it’s hard to clear it completely. But once mastered, you’ll feel a feeling of total relaxation and peace take over your body and it’s guaranteed to leave you with that sensation for the rest of the day.
There are many benefits to
practicing and deepening your yoga practice, here are just a few that are sure
to make you move forward with taking a yoga class:
There are many benefits to practicing and deepening your yoga practice, here are just a few that are sure to make you move forward with taking a yoga class:
- Increase your flexibility & physical strength: Most yoga poses lengthen the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your body which means you will notice an increase in your body's flexibility when practicing yoga. The more flexible and stronger you become through your practice, the less likely you are to injure yourself during other physical activities and in your everyday life.
- Reduce stress: Yoga is not only an exercise for the body but also for the mind. Yoga focuses on controlling your breath which allows the body AND mind to relax. Not to mention, at the end of every yoga practice, you do Savasana in which you lie on your back, meditate and go into a state of complete relaxation; leaving every thought and feeling out of your life for those 10-15 minutes. After this, you usually leave the class feeling like Jell-O and like a brand new person. Don't we all need this?
- Better mood: Feeling down or sad? Like most exercises, you feel great afterward! Yoga increases your body’s serotonin levels which makes you happy. I walk out of class with ‘yoga high' or 'yoga glow' every time I attend a class.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being a yogi bear I can tell you by experience, yoga works out every single part of your body and although I have always worked out and been athletic, I have never been so toned in my life. A good yoga class will have you sweating no matter what the temperature in the room is! Yoga is a great way to supplement your regular exercise routine and help you keep your body lean, healthy, and maintain your desired weight.
'Be careful with your thoughts, for they become your words. Be careful with your words, for they become your actions. Be careful with your actions, for they become your habits. Be careful with your habits, for they become your character. Be careful with your character, for it becomes your destiny.’ – Anonymous♥