Still not sure if yoga is right for you? Look below for ways that yoga can change your daily life!!
Most people begin a yoga practice for flexibility, stress relief, health, and physical fitness. For many, their reasons for practicing yoga will change. Yoga is one of the best methods to connect mind and body and access higher levels of consciousness. The practice allows us to use the breath to push through self imposed limitations and allow us to reach our full potential.
Our Brains On Yoga
The grey matter in our brains shrink as we age. A 2015 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience using MRI scans showed that the grey matter in brains of yoga practitioners were larger than their peers who did not practice yoga. The brains of yoga practitioners resembled the brains of younger participants in the study.
Yoga is a form of moving meditation. The practice increases our body awareness and helps cultivate mindfulness and being present in the current moment. In our society, we are always “on” with multiple things requiring our attention simultaneously. We are either worrying about the past or planning for the future. Yoga allows us to slow down our thoughts and focus on the task at hand. When we slow things down, we are able to act deliberately instead of reacting to life.
Concentration and Focus
A regular yoga practice will lead to improved concentration and focus. When you aren’t thinking about a million things at once, you are able to focus on the task and hand and make better decisions.
Depression and Anxiety
Yoga is proven to help regulate depression and anxiety. While finding motivation to get on the mat can be difficult, many practitioners report that yoga has improved their depression and anxiety. The conscious breathing in yoga stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system which control breathing, heart rate, and metabolism. The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system reduces the cortisol levels in our bodies encouraging relaxation and reducing fear, anxiety, and anger.
Yoga is not a religion, but it can be used to deepen a spiritual practice. There are aspects of yoga that have been incorporated into different religions, but it is not a free standing religion. Organizations like YogaFaith have used yoga to deepen their connection to God. If you are concerned that Yoga would conflict with your religion, we encourage you to read this article: When Yoga and Christianity Come Together.