Well, we know the basic reasons to exercise – it is good for your body, helps you de-stress, burns calories, keeps you living longer, better…and on and on. But what about those practices that we sometimes forget? When we work 40-50 (or more) hours a week, we tend to forget how important it is to stretch. Stretching can save your life. What doesn’t bend breaks. Listen to this song while you read through my 5 reasons I practice yoga.
1. It helps you sleep, and helps you wake up. Over the past year, I’ve gotten on a pretty good sleep schedule. I go to bed before 10pm, and wake up around 6am. Recently, I have started to get up earlier, around 4:45am, naturally, to go to yoga. This is a blessing to me, as I feel like my body is moving with the sun, as I watch the sunrise each day. And as the sun sets, I become sleepy. This is natural. I no longer drink caffeine. I no longer get drowsy at 3pm. I no longer stay up late and struggle to move in the morning. 2. What doesn’t bend breaks. If you don’t stretch, eventually, you will break. I noticed that my lower back was really tight. I’d sometimes stretch, but sometimes I’d forget. I started to do the “grandma squat” as the ladies at work call it – when instead of just bending over to pick something up, I stick my butt out and squat down. I’m too young to need to do this. This is why I need to do yoga.
3. It clears your head. I’ve always lived a rushed life. Always making lists in my head of what to do next. If I wasn’t thinking of forward motion, I wasn’t living right. Yoga gives me the time to let that fade away and just focus on the moment. Even if every other minute of my day is rushed, I find the time to get on my mat and stop thinking. Sometimes it is hard, sometimes I can’t concentrate…but I know that just working towards stillness is important.
4. It gives you “me” time. How many times a day, a week, a month, a year, do you take time to be alone and only focus on yourself? Most of us don’t do that. If you’re a mother or father, you rarely get this opportunity. If you’re a social butterfly and perhaps live with a lot of people, you probably never find yourself alone. Learning to be alone, with yourself, is vital to loving. You must learn to love yourself. To be alone. To grow.
5. Moving as one. When you join a yoga practice, especially a flow class, with others, you create a community of love. Sure, yoga is about your personal practice…but when you are in a room full of people all doing the same, you have a sense of oneness. You feel the energy of those around you. Hopefully, you practice in a studio where your energy fits. And then, you move as one. I heard this song for the first time in a hot yoga class, with my favorite teacher, and I cried.