Yoga isn’t for everyone, so they say. But there truly are some amazing benefits to practicing yoga. Increased flexibility and strength, improved energy, reduction in weight, and improved cardio health, to name just a few. Many people also learn how to meditate as a result of their yoga practice. During yoga practice, focusing on the breath is key, as well as on how your body feels in each position. It is important to take your time and focus on your movements with intention so you don’t hurt yourself, and so you don’t push yourself too hard.

I began consistent, daily yoga practice about four weeks ago and have noticed many changes already!

  1. Less back pain – I used to wake up with an aching, lower back, but since I started practicing yoga, my back feels great!
  2. Stronger muscles – I’ve noticed that my biceps, forearms, and calves are all stronger and more muscular.
  3. No neck pain – This is a big one for me! I generally hold a lot of stress in my shoulders and neck, like many people do, and I’ve learned how to keep my shoulders down instead of having them hunched over, and this has resulted in a drastic reduction in neck pain for me.
  4. No headaches – This goes hand in hand with number three. I used to get tension and migraine headaches on a regular basis.  For the last four weeks, I haven’t had a single headache!
  5. Mindful breathing – A fantastic way to reduce stress is to practice deep breathing exercises.  Due to my yoga practice, I have become more mindful of my breathing, especially in stressful situations.  This has resulted in less stress for me.
  6. Increased flexibility – Flexible joints require less energy for movement, and decreases our risk of injury. It also helps increase blood and nutrients to our tissues.
  7. Decreased stress – Overall, I feel less stressed, calmer, more patient, happier, and healthier.

I’ve heard people say that they hate yoga and prefer other methods of exercise. While I can understand that it may seem boring, once you get into it, there’s so much more to it than just exercise. While, yes, it’s beneficial physically, for me, it’s a total body experience.  Mentally, emotionally, and physically. I’m learning how to let go of things that don’t matter, which is essential for living a stress-free life.

Now, I, personally, don’t have the time to go to a yoga class at a gym or yoga studio because I typically have many appointments that I have to drive my family members to.  Therefore, I practice at home.  My absolute favorite yoga instructor is on YouTube.  She’s absolutely adorable, and silly, and so knowledgeable. She has many different videos, (I mean, like, a LOT)! You should go check them out! You can find her YouTube channel at Yoga With Adriene.