I hope you are all experiencing the joyful sunshine that we have here in Indy! I love spring so much! It is such a lovely time of year with fresh air and more energy being created all around us. It even makes me crave yoga more than ever; especially if I can see the sunrise or set at a reasonable hour while practicing!
Yoga. We have all heard of it, few of us know the definition, and many of us have been completely terrified of trying it, myself included! I vividly remember the fear of walking into my first class. Historically, any new situation brought feelings of worry that everyone else knew more than I did and was better at whatever new adventure I was on than me. Especially yoga. We all imagine these tiny, fit, modelesque women with their ankles by their ears who know the meaning of namaste and down dog. Please note that this is often not the case in yoga. Most teachers and studios are very welcoming, and students all know we were once beginners. We all start somewhere, and yoga is a supportive, kind practice.
During my first yoga class in college, my ballet professor, Katie, who was teaching the class told us to be trees, and I am pretty sure my eye roll landed me the C in her class (it definitely wasn’t because I skipped too many classes 😉 [sorry mom and dad]). Anyway, my point is, I never thought I would own a yoga studio, let alone strive to live a yogic lifestyle, but here I am.
You should know that I cannot touch my ankles to my ears, I cannot do the splits, I am not what we all think a yogini (or yogi) “is” or “should be,” but I love it, and I would love for you to try it with me one day once we open. Note, we still have no clue when the opening day is; we barely have concrete! Stay tuned on that!
Without further ado, I will step off of my yoga soapbox and tell you my top 10 reasons you should try a yoga class!
- Yoga builds strength! Many of us have this idea that yoga is for flexibility and stretching, but it is also for building strong muscles and bones! Want a “workout” that doesn’t’ require any equipment (no, not even a mat) or weights; YOGA!
- Yoga relieves stress! Trying something new, focusing on your breath, and moving your body are all great distractions from the stressors of everyday life. Yoga forces you to breathe, increases circulation to all of your organs and body tissue, brings you into a community with others, and classes end with a little nap!
- Yoga can help you sleep! Research has shown that yoga can help with insomnia! We all need more sleep!
- Yoga can improve posture, balance, and stability. Even if you need to use a wall or sit in a chair for the entire class to balance, you will still improve your core which will help with balance and stability!
- Yoga has been clinically proven to improve health! Poor circulation, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, limited mobility, lower back pain, trouble breathing, headaches, depression, anxiety, and more can be improved with yoga! Yoga is gentle and can be modified for any physical body and any age!
- Yoga can boost sexual performance! Yes, not all of you reading this may be old enough for sex, but it is good information to have because a healthy sex life is important. Research has shown to significantly improve sexual function in women and men (yes, LOTS of men practice yoga)!
- Yoga can help reduce food cravings! Researchers have shown that regular yoga practice teaches us to be more aware of our breath and strengthens our mind-body connection. This connection can allow us to slow down, make better food choices, and identify the emotions involved with certain food cravings.
- Yoga practice can strengthen your immune system! Studies have shown a benefit to our immune systems on a cellular level when we practice yoga, and quickly too! The researchers involved in the study believe that these cellular changes were occurring while the participants were still on their yoga mats!
- Yoga helps to improve flexibility! Of course, this is a given, but an increase in flexibility can help improve posture which can also relieve back, joint, and muscles problems and pains.
- Yoga is good for your heart (and soul)! Even the most gentle level 0 practice can help lower your resting heart rate, improve oxygen uptake and delivery during exercise, and increase endurance.
If you would like more information about what to expect and how to prepare for your first class, Pierre Couvillion, my teacher and Santosha School owner, has made an amazing list as well as a FREE online level 1 yoga class you can find here: New to yoga?
P.S. Yoga means union, often meaning unity with whatever you consider being the divine. Namaste (nah-mah-stay) is a salutation of respect which means I bow to you but has many other translations. My favorite is, we are the same, we are one.