If any of you have been keeping up with my personal fitness journey on the PK Fitness app, you may have noticed that I’ve recently been doing a lot of yoga.
I’ve always done yoga on occasion, but I’ve never committed to it regularly. But ever since moving to my new space, I’ve been really into it.
I’m not sure what it is about a new space that always has me revamping my fitness routine. It might be that I have way more space to workout at home, it may be that I have a ton of extra time on my hands without the commute (can I get an Amen for no commute), it may be that new beautiful spaces get my creativity running. I have a suspicion it’s a combination of the three!
Regardless of the cause, I am super excited to be getting into yoga, and challenging my body in this new way.
I feel like yoga is super underrated. I always thought of yoga as a nice stretch. And sometimes it is a nice stretch, but it’s usually so much more than that. It’s strengthening my body in ways I’ve never been strong before, it’s learning how to breathe deeper, it’s giving me serious stress relief, it’s understanding and using my body in ways I didn’t know were possible! And the more I practice, or decide to make time for it in my day the more I find myself finding and loving new benefits.
So, if you’re considering adding yoga to your routine, or if you’re not yet convinced, check out a few of the benefits of yoga below. And I’ll link my favorite youtube yoga accounts at the bottom of this article, so that if you’re interested in practicing at home, it’s easy to get started!
8 Amazing Benefits of Yoga
1) Improves Flexibility
One thing that is so awesome about yoga, is that it really opens up your entire body, and lengthens your muscles. While this may feel uncomfortable at first, with practice lengthening your body feels so good. And you will get better at it quick with daily or frequent practice- trust me!
What’s so great about the flexibility component of yoga, is that it’s a great counterbalance for more intense exercise like weight lifting, HIIT, cross training, running, etc. These types of exercise can make your body tight, and may even lead to imbalances or injury. Yoga is an excellent way to keep those muscles happy.
2) Builds Strength
Surprisingly, yoga is more than just a good stretch. You are flexing your muscles, practicing balance, and holding your body in positions that require a lot of body weight strength. There are so many reasons why an increase in strength is so great, but for starters muscle looks great, haha. Gaining muscle increases metabolism, increases your balance, and protects your body by reducing your fear of falling (in older adults), and occurrence of injury.
3) Improves Posture and Protects Spine
Yoga stretches your back, keeping it flexible and well lubricated. It also strengthens the back musculature surrounding the spine. This increase in flexibility and strength will assist you in keeping better posture all throughout the day.
4) Increase Bone Strength
Weight- bearing activity is great for increasing bone strength. Bone strength is especially important for people participating in pounding activity like running. It’s also especially important with increase in age as osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone disease become a concern.
5) Increase Circulation
Yoga gets your blood pumping, and has you focus on controlled, mindful breathing. The combination of these two aspects is powerful for circulation. An increase in circulation is a great way to start or end your day, and will leave you feeling fresh, and rejuvenated.
6) Builds Mental Stamina
Holding asana (or poses) for length on end, whether they’re a challenge of flexibility or strength is difficult at first. Your body will be uncomfortable, and your brain will have a hard time focusing and investing in holding a particular pose.
As you practice single-pointed focus of mind, and being present in the moment rather than allowing your mind to roam, you will begin to feel greater ease throughout your practice, mentally and physically.
7) Relaxation and Stress Relief
Your practice is soothing for the soul. You may find that after a good yoga session you feel calm, and recentered. Doing something so good for your body and mind will give you internal peace, and gratitude- which in turn puts into perspective things in your life that may be causing you stress.
8) Increase Self Esteem and Self Confidence
Doing yoga feels good! It’s empowering to do something that makes your body feel awesome, and discover the confidence to push your body to new levels. One of the best feelings is discovering that you can do something today that you couldn’t do yesterday, whether that’s an achievement, or simply progress.
Your goal for practicing yoga should not be to become this flexible human pretzel, and stand on your hands for time on end (although it’s fun to aspire)- the real goal should be to improve upon yourself, explore your limits, learn more about your body, get in tune with yourself and the way your body feels and moves!
It’s empowering and an honor to get to explore your body in this way. And I am so excited to do more yoga, and to push my body and mind to improve.
If you are interested in practicing yoga, or just checking it out, here are some great Youtube yoga accounts that you can try at home (Boho Beautiful, Yoga with Adriene, Amanda Bisk). I’m sure there are so many great ones out there, but these have really been helpful for the beginning of my yoga journey. If you know any good at home yoga programs, I encourage you to comment them below, just to help other readers, and myself out. Would love to know!
And if you have the income for it or are interested I highly recommend an in person class. I’ve taken a few and they are awesome! Class really helps you get a sense and feel for body positioning, plus the huge mirrors are a big help!