Yoga begins with a ‘why?’

25 Jun

You already go to the gym…why would you add yoga?
You’re tired…why would you exert precious energy on yoga?
You have arthritis, a ‘bad shoulder,’ ‘bad knees’, or a ‘bad back,’   (don’t call them that, it hurts their feelings) why go to yoga? What would it change?

yogaforselfloveIn a word – Everything!

I have always been more of a mover, dancer, runner, gym-goer, but every time I’ve taken a yoga class I left feeling peaceful, relaxed, and pain-free. And I always asked myself, “Why don’t I do this more often?”

I promised myself that when we moved I would do yoga at the beautiful studio nearby, and I’ve kept that commitment to myself.

My first class was Yoga Flow – balance, strength, and stretch poses flowed from one into the next. It had been so long, I could barely keep up. So, for my second class I tried a Yin Yoga class. Having no idea what to expect, I let go of any expectations and just listened to the teacher’s silky voice serenely guiding the class. Breathe in, now breathe out. Find traction. Allow. Allow. Allow.

During one long pose my whole body was relaxed, except for my right shoulder, which was so tight that I kept wiggling. The teacher silently placed a small sandbag on my shoulder and surprisingly, my shoulder completely relaxed. My whole body felt hugged and tears began to stream down my face. I lay there on my back allowing tears to fill my ears for the next few minutes, releasing all of the tension that had been building for who-knows-how-long.

During my third class, again Yin Yoga, the teacher spoke about the synovial joints in our bodies – found in the elbows, wrists, thumbs, shoulders, hips, knees, neck and feet. The inner synovial membrane secretes lubricating, shock absorbing, and joint-nourishing synovial fluid. These joints receive nutrition from the surrounding blood supply by convection, a process achieved best through exercise. And the long, slow poses of Yin Yoga are the perfect way to nurture these joints – good for us no matter our age if we want to stay (or become) flexible, supple, and maintain our balance as we age.

I want to share this, written by Chris Haigh, and excerpted from Lifehack.org

Seven Reasons You Should Start Doing Yoga Immediately

  1. It’s a great workout – no matter which yoga exercises you choose, there are movements perfect for every kind of person.
  2. It gets you in touch with your body – and helps you move to increase strength, flexibility, and durability.
  3. It can help your breathing technique – which provides effective stress management and make you feel better. Plus, if you have asthma, it really helps to open your lungs and explore what it means to breathe consciously.
  4. It can improve your sleep – light physical activity before bed helps us get to sleep more quickly and leads to better quality sleep. Also working on problem-areas through yoga can help alleviate pain symptoms and increase the likelihood of better sleep.
  5. It will improve your posture – whether you’re someone who spends their day at their desk, or just putters with little physical activity, yoga will help sculpt you back into the kind of poised posture that’ll make you walk taller and feel better (not to mention look younger).
  6. It can develop your physical and mental strength –  the physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that you’ll experience plenty of benefits as a result. The breathing can improve your lung capacity, the lunges and stretches increase your core strength, and focusing on the moment clears your mind which alleviates stress and improves mental health.
  7. Meditation (a part of yoga) can change your life for the better – even if you can do every complicated pose under the sun, it loses all of it’s meaning if it isn’t done with focus and thought. You can meditate anywhere and at anytime you’d like. All it takes is five minutes with some peace and quiet, allowing you to embrace calmness and serenity.

I plan on mixing up my classes, aiming for balance in my life, and in a pair of heels!

XO Donna

 

 

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