I always wanted to try yoga, but was nervous to make a fool of myself. I tried it for the first time about 3 years ago, and I did that just that. I had no idea what I was doing, I could barely keep up and hit people with my flailing arms multiple times.
When the class was over, I was dripping with sweat and could not wait to go back. I made me feel really good in so many ways. I didn’t turn into a full blown yogi, but I continued to practice two times a week and it really changed me mentally and physically. Of course, life happened and I fell off the bandwagon.
I’ve gone back here and there, but not on a consistent basis. I took my first class in a while this past Saturday and remembered the reasons I love practicing and all the benefits of yoga. This is what yoga does for you and your body.
It’s An Excellent Workout
I know this is an obvious one. Before I started, I couldn’t imagine how holding poses and stretching could really be that intense. Of course it depends on the type of class your taking, but most flow classes leave me sweaty and sore the next day. I feel like I work muscles that I didn’t even know existed.
After losing a lot of weight, yoga helped me tone up big time. The flexibility you gain is ridiculous and can come in handy in the bedroom. A study done by The Journal of Sexual Medicine measured desire, arousal and orgasm before and after a yoga program and 75% experienced improvements.
It Shuts Your Noisy Brain Off
Yoga is the only thing other then a hefty glass of wine that stops my mind from frantically wandering. I am not a sit quietly and meditate kind of person. I’ve tried, but within a minute my mind is thinking 500 things at once. However, during yoga I am too busy concentrating on breathing, listening to the instructor and holding my position that I don’t even think about thinking. I always leave feeling mentally refreshed with a cleared head.
Although it’s not a religion, there is a spiritually and mind body connection that comes with practicing yoga. It helps bring the mind to the present moment and balances the body so that you can live a happier life in that moment. It also gives you the strength to get through difficult situations. I am not a religious person however, yoga does wonders for my mental health and spirit.
You Get To Know Your Body
When I’m on the mat, it’s just me and my body. I learn what my body can do and I challenge myself. It motivates me to push a little further. Your holding that side plank for a few seconds and your arm starts trembling. All you want to do is let go but you breath through it hold it until the final count. It makes you feel so great.
This Is For The Guys
I know many men think yoga is for chicks, but there are more and more guys practicing these days. If you go to classes with male instructors, there tends to be more male students. Give it a shot. It improves your balance, strength, reduces toxins in your muscles and reduces stress. Think about it, even if your hate it, you just spent an hour in a room full of girls in yoga pants bending over. It can’t be so bad.
If you want to start practicing, here are some of my favorite accessories:
Jade Yoga Mats- Hands down the best yoga mat ever created. If you’re a sweater like me, this mat will keep you from sliding and give you great cushioning on the hands.
D-Ring Buckle Cotton Yoga Strap– You might need to have one of these when you first start to help you reach and hold positions without having incredible flexibility. They are good for all levels.
Yoga Rat Sweat Towel– Your going to sweat so might as well be prepared. I always carry a hand size yoga towel with me. They also sell full-size mat towels which are great for a hot yoga class.
Aurorae Organic Yoga Mat Wash– Your mat will be on the floor so naturally, it will need to be cleaned every once and a while. It will prolong the life of your mat by restoring, refreshing and disinfecting it.
Here are a list of other awesome yogi gear for the studio and the home.
Yoga is my mini hour escape from my surrounds to just be with me and my body. No matter how big the class is or how may people they squish in a tiny room, when I’m practicing it’s just me on my mat. I’m hoping in the next few months of practicing again, yoga can help me be more optimistic, confident and stronger mentally/physically. Oh yeah, I also want to work on my head stand!