By Justine Thorner
Can yoga change your life? If you ask most practicing yogis they will respond with a definitive “Yes.” And perhaps it is because that much of this ancient art form lies in connecting with the breath. This simple concept, when practiced at a deep level, can clear the mind of thoughts that contaminate mindfulness and positive thinking — both of which are directly connected to happiness.
Other than leading you towards a happier, more forward thinking inner being, yoga has a multitude of physical and social benefits that can lead to a more fulfilling life.
1. Improve your body
This is the most obvious of reasons, but it is very true. Your body will 100 percent change from consistently practicing yoga. Your muscles will become longer, and leaner; you will loose body fat and inches. I have seen a huge transformation in my own body from practicing. Yoga also helps us become more in tune with how we feel and with what is going on inside our bodies.
2. Go with the flow
Yoga teaches us how to breathe. Breath is one of the most important parts of our practice. Learning to use our breath helps us just go with the flow, and go wherever life takes us!
3. Deal with stress better
Now that you know how to go with the flow, things that used to stress you out won’t anymore. Yoga teaches you breathing exercises and poses that help you better cope with stressors.
4. Glow from the inside out
Seriously”… People will start to notice a little pep in your step, or a glow to your skin. All the moving causes increase in blood flow, which helps clear toxins from the body producing a healthy glow. Get used to hearing. “Wow, you look great!”
Photo: Annie Isaacson
5. Connect with people
When you start taking public classes, you begin to meet wonderful like-minded people. Nothing compares to healthy friendships; friendships that involve sharing similar interests, quality experiences and a healthy lifestyle, not pizza and late nights at bars (although those have their place!)
6. Learn to slow down
Yoga teaches us to slow down, to live in the present, to stop ruminating on the past, and stressing about the future. You learn to be fully present and take time to really enjoy what is happening in the NOW. You will stop zipping through life without truly experiencing it.
7. Let go of things that are not serving you
Yoga teaches us to let go of things that are not serving us. The teachings in yoga are subtle, but when you start to notice actual shifts happening in your life, you beging to feel renewed and at peace with whatever comes your way. You may finally be able to release that negative friend, that abusive relationship, etc.
8. Find your intuition/inner voice
As you become more in tune with your body and your mind, you can actually start to listen to your intuition/inner voice. This was a huge step for me. I was so indecisive, and I was never able to figure out what I truly wanted, or what I felt. Yoga changed that for me!
Photo: Annie Isaacson
9. Open up and love more
There are poses in yoga called “˜heart openers.’ These poses are meant to open the heart, to allow love to flow. At first I was skeptical, but yoga teaches us more about love and truly loving people and other living things. Yoga really does open our hearts up, to new people, new experiences, and new things.
Yoga teaches us that true happiness comes from within. After consistently practicing yoga for sometime you start to find this true happiness within your self. It is amazing, and it feels so good. You realize that looking this way or that way, making more money, being the best at everything etc. does not lead to happiness. The happiness is within us all, and it is easily attainable!
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About the Writer
Justine Thorner is a yoga instructor and board certified health coach. She is able to integrate yoga with her understanding of and passion for nutrition and holistic health to help her clients live their happiest, healthiest & most fulfilling lives. Justine loves sharing her knowledge with the world. Check out her website & facebook page for healthy tips & inspiration, and stay connected with her on twitter.
Feature photo, 10 Health Benefits of Yoga by: lululemon athletica