While it’s true that you’ll get out of your practice only as much as you’re willing or able to put into it, a committed approach to your practice can help you in ways that you’ve never expected. Indeed practicing yoga could be the platform and motivation you need to completely transform your life.
The basic benefits of yoga are widely documented and have been extensively researched. Research into the more controversial benefits of yoga continue – at the time of writing, pubmed.org (a Service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of health) listed more than 900 research papers investigating the benefits of yoga. A search on the internet typically reveals benefits which include:
- Increased fitness
- Increased strength
- Fat reduction and weight loss
- Relief of back pain
- Better relaxation
Individually these benefits sound like compelling reasons to practice yoga and may be exactly what you are looking for. But yoga is an all encompassing approach to health and well-being – the word itself literally means union, and when we look at the impact practicing yoga can have on our lives, we should also take an all encompassing approach. While yoga alone cannot work miracles, it may be the foundation, along with some self belief, to help you:-
Earn more money – Practicing yoga increases your ability to relax and cope with your daily stresses. It also helps to develop a meditative ability allowing you to slow or clear your mind of constantly racing thoughts. After a hard days work, these are exactly the techniques you need so you can unwind, and recharge through longer and deeper sleep. If you can achieve that then you’ll feel more refreshed, energised and motivated each day, improving your focus and concentration. You can channel this in what ever direction you want including working towards a promotion, searching for your ideal job or starting your own business.
Write a book, learn to dance – As outlined above, regular yoga practice can help you increase your energy, motivation and focus as well as improving your concentration – all of which can be used to develop your personal hobbies and interests, whatever they may be, mental activities or physical ones.
Spend more time with your friends and family – Promotion and money aren’t your motivators? How about using your increased energy levels to bring greater balance between your work and personal lives, allowing you to spend more time with the people that matter.
A shot of self confidence – performing regular exercise, combined with the positive effects yoga has on metabolism and appetite, can help with weight (fat) loss. Combine that slimming with the toning effect yoga has on your muscles and you can start to develop the body you want in no time – and be feeling better about yourself just as quick. What better boost is there to your self confidence?
Depression relief? – Yoga postures are designed to stretch, compress and massage your internal organs and glands. This stimulation is thought to help balance hormone levels in the body, which can help to achieve a more balanced emotional state.
Quit smoking – As well as strengthening your resolve to quit through the increased motivation, energy and focus, yoga breathing techniques (pranayama) are ideal to help you pass the cravings that at the biggest hurdle to quitting smoking.
As you can see, the benefits of yoga go far beyond simply improving your wellbeing – the benefits can be channeled to help you to make fundamental improvements to your whole life. When the rewards are so great, it’s not difficult to understand why people become so enthusiastic about yoga.