Top 5 Reasons to Do Yoga

Some of you may know that by some crazy fluke, I’m a certified yoga instructor. Which is funny because when I first started doing yoga eight years ago, I HATED it. But I kept going back and now I get to be the one torturing, um, I mean, teaching yoga students. I LOVE teaching yoga!

Those of you out there who swear you’ll NEVER do yoga, I hope you’ll reconsider. People tell me all the time they’re too stiff or inflexible to do yoga. Ummmmmm. . . here’s a clue. It doesn’t get better unless you do SOMETHING.

So here are my Top 5 Reasons why you should give yoga a shot:

#1: You learn how to breathe

Yes, you’ve probably been breathing for most of your life, but yoga breathing is SO MUCH BETTER. As Yoda would say, “Power in your breath, there is.”

#2: You understand how to relax

In case you haven’t noticed, our society is a little tense. We dash from task to task like monkeys on meth. Yoga helps you s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and be mindful, present and calm. Kind of like a tranquilizer–but even better! You’ll learn to recognize when your body is hunched and tense. You’ll notice when your shoulders have risen up to attack your ears. You’ll understand that when you stop grinding your teeth–your headaches seem to disappear. It’s like magic!

#3: You get to practice patience

I know. NO ONE likes to practice patience because that usually means you’re faced with an impatient situation. Like life in general. Or teenagers. But as you practice yoga poses, you learn to be patient with your body and all its quirky imperfections. Yoga is not a destination but a life-long journey you get to enjoy. Pretty zen.

#4: You learn to listen to and love your body

Do you listen to your body when it’s so tired it wants to collapse? Or do you tell your body to “suck it up” and keep abusing it with sugar (yes), no sleep (usually) and strenuous exercise-induced injuries? Yoga teaches you to not only LISTEN to what your body is telling you, but to respect your body for everything it does.

The fact our bodies put up with us each day is reason enough to be grateful. If bodies could divorce us–we’d be so out of luck. After practicing yoga for a while, you’ll begin to hear your body (and not in a crazy I-talk-to-my-patio-furniture sort of way). But you’ll tell when you’re going to far–or not going far enough. You’ll be more in tune with your muscles, your breath (see #1) and your thoughts. It’s SO cool.

#5: You take the lessons from yoga into life

When you’re in a difficult yoga pose, trying to breathe, you learn that focus and breath can get you through almost anything–even childbirth (but I had TONS of cool medication when I gave birth, so I wouldn’t know). Here are some of the life lessons I’ve learned from yoga:

  • When you’re stressed–take five deep breaths.
  • When you’re spouse and/or kids are stressed–take five deep breaths.
  • Treat your body well and you’ll feel really good.
  • There is no such thing as the perfect body.
  • Stay present. Stay in the moment. This is it, folks.
  • Don’t live unconsciously.

So here’s my challenge for you today. Find  a yoga studio or fitness center that offers yoga classes and go. If you don’t like it, find another one. There are so many styles of yoga and so many different types of instruction. Keep going until you find the one that resonates with you.

Namaste (“The light in me, honors the light in you.”)