When you first started yoga, why did you say you were going? Didn’t want to go to the gym? Friend made you go? Wanted to get ready for beach season?
Personally, I started because my back hurt. I didn’t want to go to a chiropractor, so yoga was the lesser of the two evils. Have someone crack my back, or strengthen my back and heal myself.
After two years of yoga, workshops, and teacher training, I’ve found many more benefits of yoga.
1. Less Physical Pain
I healed my back. I can walk for longer periods of time without pain, my feet aren’t asleep when I get up, and I can sit for longer periods without pain.
2. More strength
I thought that I was a strong person. But I quickly learned that I really wasn’t. Lifting my own body weight was a challenge, my core wasn’t that strong and my back was weak. With yoga, I am so much stronger now. I can hold my own weight easier and find more challenging poses.
Peace is a wonderful thing to have in your life. It helps you relax, think about a situation and then react. Instead of reacting without thought. I used to either hold it all in and hurt, or I would rarely let it all out and hurt those around me. While I still sometimes find myself doing this, I can notice it and try to change the way I react.
4. Less Stress
How amazing is it when you don’t get stressed out over the little things? With less stress you can accept things as they come and not let a change in plans ruin your mood or panic you. Just go with the flow.
5. Gratitude and understanding
Before yoga, I didn’t have gratitude for the wonderful things in my life. Now I’m very great full for everything, even being able to get up each morning to simply live. On top of that I can better understand others. Their points of view, their feelings and what they mean to me.
6. Better sleep
This should have been number 1 on my list. Everything starts with better sleep. I can fall asleep easily, stay asleep, and feel rested when I get up. I have crazy dreams now that I sleep better. Not sure if everyone experiences this, but who wouldn’t want to try for more vivid dreams? Doesn’t everyone want to dream about slaying zombies?
7. Confidence, Self Esteem
I have never though of myself as beautiful, worthy, or very good at anything. While over the last couple of years, more than one factor has helped me realize that I am these things (aka a wonderful husband), yoga has been a huge factor as well.
Growing up as a rider has not helped me in this area at all. Riders hips are very tight and as many a yoga teacher will tell you, a lot of emotion is stored in your hips. While half pigeon is still a difficult pose, its getting easier. So is touching my toes! I could hardly do that when I started yoga, I had lost that ability from not doing anything besides riding for years.
9. Returning to riding was easier
Getting back to riding after a long time can be diffucult. When I was given the chance to start riding again, I figured I would be very sloppy, and have no control. That was not the case at all! Got right back in the saddle like I had never stopped. (except that my hips were looser so it was even easier than in the past)
10. A Way to Help Others
Before yoga, I might be able to help you with some web design homework, or tell you the symptoms of a sick horse, but that was the extent of my help. Now, if your back hurts, I can give you some suggestions to ease that pain, if want a snack for some energy, I can suggest something. I love being able to help people, even if its something small and I may not have realized that (at least not as soon) if I had not started yoga.
While I didn’t know it back then, (I thought it was just pain relief) those 10 reasons are why I started yoga. That was what I needed in my life. Now I have those things started and will continue to grow as my practice grows.
Why did you come to yoga? Has that reason changed over the years?