50 Reasons to Practice Yoga

Yoga has become so integrated into my sense of Self, health and well being I really can’t separate them anymore. Days that I abstain from practice just don’t seem to go as well, in general, as days that I do; I tend to be more emotional, a bit more down and the day just seems choppy; it doesn’t have the same grace and flow. When I do practice everything is put in perspective for the day, I am more clear and centered. It takes a much bigger wave to knock my socks off. I just tend to feel happier and not just emotionally, my body tends to feel lighter too. When I go several days with out practicing my body tends to get very cranky and eventually so do I until I take that time for myself.

Yoga has quickly become one of the most loved practices for health and well being here in the West. With millions of practitioners this is not just a trend. It is a lifestyle, a way of being in the world with no sign of decline in sight. So, if you are just playing with the idea of trying it for the first time or a seasoned practitioner that wants a little more inspiration I give you 50 reasons to get on the mat…

1) Increase strength and tone
2) Increase flexibility, elasticity and agility
3) Develop a better relationship with the body
4) Reduce the effects of stress
5) Improve breathing (oxygen is an essential nutrient to the cells and for many body functions)
6) Feel more centered throughout the day
7) Realize your connection to Source, Source Energy, your Higher Self, Spirit, God, The Universe, Universal Energy, The Divine, The Infinite, The Infinite Field of Consciousness; whatever you choose to call it
8) Improve balance
9) Reduce pain and/or discomfort
10) Gain focus and concentration
11) Clear out old emotional baggage stored in the body
12) Access your own inner guidance system, wisdom and intuition
13) “Know Thyself”
14) Liberate happiness, joy and well-being
15) Express loving-kindness towards your self
16) Gain emotional balance and stability
17) Improve the quality of sleep
18) Reduce or get off medications (personally I have seen some of my students get off of pills for depression and insomnia in a very short period of time)
19) Balance the hormones and glands
20) Heal injuries (if you practice correctly)
21) Reduce tension
22) Express yourself… each pose is like a work of art, a living sculpture, an opportunity for you to express your unique beauty
23) Open the channels of energy (meridians) and get the chi/prana flowing (in eastern medicine this is a state of health and wellness; disease begins in the energetic body in the form of obstruction and then moves into the physical)
24) Develop courage; learn how to do things you didn’t think you could do; expand your mind
25) Lower your blood pressure (if it’s too high)
26) Deepen your ability to be fully present for your life
27) Spiritual awakening; Enlightenment; Samadhi (bliss)
28) Improve your ability to sit comfortably for meditation and your ability to meditate
29) Establish a relationship with stillness (awake and alert, yet relaxed)
30) Prepare the ground and open the door to higher states of consciousness
31) Improve posture
32) Clean the window of the mind so that you can see things clearly
33) Cleanse, purify and detoxify the body
34) Discover a lightness of being
35) Alignment, integration and wholeness; oneness in body, mind and spirit
36) Improve the health and efficacy of all the organs
37) Gain an effortless ease; gracefulness and poise
38) Learn discipline
39) Explore freedom
40) Surrender to something greater
41) Increase endurance and vigor
42) Learn how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations
43) Reverse the effects of aging
44) Enhance weight loss efforts
45) Elevate mood and outlook on life
46) Self empowerment; learn tools you can use to heal yourself
47) Develop a healthy spine… “You are only as young as your spine is flexible”
48) Gain core strength and a greater sense of ones power
49) Learn how to live well with an open heart
50) Beauty… with all of these benefits you can only become more beautiful in every way; a beauty that radiates from the inside out

I am sure that we could come up with many more. If you are new to yoga, just get started and see for yourself what it’s all about (it’s an experiential practice, you get to discover for yourself what it’s all about). However, I must say that it’s not always roses and sunshine. There are risks involved as with any physically demanding activity: be sensible, go slowly, practice wisely, go at your own pace, always listen to your body over anyone’s instructions and you should be more than just fine.

A lot of these are related and it’s hard to pick and choose (they are all important!), yet if I had too I’d say my top four reasons for getting on the mat regularly are #4) reduce the effects of stress, #6) feeling more centered throughout the day, #12) gain access to my own inner guidance system, wisdom and intuition and #34) lightness of being. These are the nuts and bolts, brick and mortar experiences that keep me coming back for more.

Did I leave anything out? Is there anything you want to add to the list? If so, leave a comment below and we’ll keep expanding the list! If you’ve been practicing for a while what keeps you coming back for more? If you’re new, what on this list is compelling enough for you to give it a go?

6 thoughts on “50 Reasons to Practice Yoga”

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for the free stuff esp your free full length yoga class. I do like your web site. I wish I could join your classes.

    Zahra

    Iran

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