Why do you choose a certain yoga mat colour? You pick one because you like it and it makes you feel good. It adds for a good selfie too. But yoga is much more than Instagram-worthy poses and stretching. It has long-lasting benefits beyond the mat and makes its way into almost every aspect of your life. Whether you want to sleep better, lower your stress level, be more mindful, or recover from an intense workout, yoga is essential.
Even though the practice of yoga consists of 8 separate limbs, we, in the Western world, tend to focus solely on the asanas, which are the physical poses. Most yoga classes will also include types of breathwork under the fourth limb, pranayama.
The physical poses of yoga range in difficulty from laying on your back in Savasana or corpse pose to positions like Adho Mukha Vrksasana, which is a handstand, or Urdhva Dhanurasana, a back end. The type of postures you would include in your yoga sessions vary and would depend on what you hope to achieve.
In many cases, these asanas are challenging to their practitioners. Traditional yoga uses only body weight, but regular practice will help tone and strengthen muscles and aid in weight loss.
Yoga can be intense, but it can also be gentle. Seeking out a low-impact or restorative yoga class is a great way to treat your muscles and body with an engaging yet slow exercise session. In fact, many athletes grab their mats to keep their bodies healthy and happy.
A healthy body is more than just physical strength and endurance. After all, the physical parts of our workouts are often the easiest. It’s our mind we often have to battle with. Our lifestyle outside of the gym deeply impacts our overall health and well-being.
Breathwork helps us learn how to slow down and tune out any outside noise. This quietness allows us a safe space to take a closer look at why we do things a certain way.
Creating good habits and being mindful can help us improve our mental and emotional health. In turn, this makes our physical health better. Almost everything we do, we do from habit. We can get caught in a negative habit loop which can be hard to notice and break out of.
Learning how to escape a negative feedback loop can be difficult. However, with proper guidance, mindful living can truly be life-changing. Participating in guided breathwork training is a great way to dive deeper into the realm of mindfulness, helping you reach your highest potential.
Sleep is when your body heals itself. However, many find it hard to fall or stay asleep. This can be due to stress from the day or anxiety about what’s to come. Adopting a calming bedtime routine can help induce a deeper, more restful sleep.
Healthy sleep habits are vital for mental, emotional, and physical health. Since yoga and breathwork are known to lower stress and help people calm down, a quick, low-impact session can help set you up for a restorative night of sleep. Including even a simple 5-minute wind down on your mat allows you to reset after your day, disconnect from your troubles, and prepare your body for sleep.
Today’s world is highly demanding, so many people search for holistic and natural ways to destress and help their mental well-being. Yoga and breathwork are at the forefront of this movement, and for good reason. Yoga, especially classes with asanas, has been shown in studies to help lower stress in individuals who practice regularly. But, as mentioned earlier in the article, the asanas are only part of the yoga universe.
Breathwork is credited with improving your life and body physically and mentally, including reducing PTSD and anxiety, improving sleep quality, balancing blood pressure, increasing feelings of relaxation, improving your outlook in life, and increasing focus.
Finding breathwork classes is also stress-free. Today, you can easily find high-quality breathwork sessions online, making it simple to begin and continue your breathwork journey on your schedule.
Yoga is Essential
Yoga provides benefits to almost every area of one’s life. The physical asanas can aid in strength training or restorative sessions. At the same time, meditation and breathwork can help improve focus, decrease feelings of stress or anxiety, and provide the proper setting for a more restful night’s sleep.
Whether you want to hop on your mat and sweat or simply sit and breathe, the positives of your body on yoga will continue long after you’ve rolled it up.