These 10 ways yoga will change you for the better might be surprising.
1. Build Strength
Yoga might not help you lift as much as this guy can but the postures will definitely increase your muscular strength and endurance, particularly standing postures and arm balances. Also, with the right level of awareness and focus you begin to strengthen your mind and build emotional resilience. Um, yes please!
2. Become More Flexible
Whether this is the reason you started yoga or not, you will start to enjoy greater flexibility the more you practice. Remember that the body will only be as flexible as the mind allows it to be, so relax the grey matter, remember to breathe and keep on practicing. For inspiration, look no further than the amazing Kino MacGregor (pictured)!
3. Develop More Compassion
One of the most beautiful side effects of practicing yoga is developing more compassion towards others. Don’t you think it’s true that the more yoga you do, the more you want to make a positive difference? The desire to help others is a quality within everyone and yoga simply works to reveal it.
4. Become More Patient
Is there anything wrong with being impatient? Yep you get a lot done (and quickly) but the restlessness that accompanies impatience means you are constantly living in the future. Yoga is the perfect place to let go and surrender to the present moment. After a while you’ll probably start to wonder why you ever felt the need to hurry through life anyway...
5. Be Curious
Yoga can facilitate a journey of inquiry, of our bodies, minds and hearts. It is the perfect opportunity for us to find out who we are, how we work and what our boundaries are. The more curious we become, the more we can learn, grow and transform through our practice.
6. Feel More Connected To Others
Beware, hippy speak coming up! By the universal life force (prana) that flows through every aspect of creation, we are all connected. Yoga helps us realise this interconnectedness and tuning in to the people around you during a yoga class can create an awesome group energy that can carry you through even the most challenging postures. It goes hand in hand with the next point.
7. Turn Greener
As well as feeling more connected to others, you begin to feel more connected to your surroundings, and the environment naturally becomes something to take care of and respect. Recycling and reusable shopping bags become second nature and before long you’ll probably find yourself drinking from a BPA free drink bottle, an eco friendly coffee cup and maybe hugging a tree or two.
8. Become More Balanced
Balance means more than being steady while standing on one leg. It is also our approach to life and the choices we make each day. The balancing postures in yoga have a really positive effect on both our internal and external worlds, which can help us balance on one hand (!) and feel calm and centred while we do it...
9. Develop Better Eating Habits
Who doesn’t want to move away from emotionally driven eating habits? Yoga definitely encourages us to listen to our bodies and you actually do start to crave nutritious and wholesome foods that support your wellbeing. And if you’re anything like me and love the (ahem) odd slice of cake, the mindfulness that is cultivated on the mat means you will eat with more awareness and enjoy every bite!
10. You Will Have More Confidence
There are so many stories out there of people becoming more confident through yoga. Just the act of going to class sends a positive message to your subconscious, you are actively choosing to take time for you and your wellbeing.
Do you agree? How yoga has changed you for the better!