Sometimes it really is true—you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
Because every time I get too busy or overwhelmed with family and life, and let my routine of morning yoga get pushed to the bottom of my priority list, I feel it. And not in a good way either.
Once I've missed a week or two, even though I'm a mess inside and craving my practice, it can be challenging to wake up early and get back on track. But the effort is always worth it; by the time I'm half way through that first morning of my return, I'm already starting to feel like my old, happy self again.
When this happened again recently, it really made me think about why making time for yoga in my life is so important, so healing, so awesome—and how much I miss it when I let it slip away.
Here are four benefits of yoga that always keep me coming back for more.
1. Yoga is my mental prep time for the day.
We never know what each new day is going to bring. Beginning the day in quiet, calm reflection as I stretch, balance, and breathe helps me feel more centered, peaceful, and better able to handle whatever comes my way.
2. Yoga brings me back to my body.
Both during and after my practice, I feel healthier, stronger, and more in tune with my body.
This leads to me making better choices for myself throughout the day—whether it's opting for healthier meals, having more patience, and practicing kindness toward others, or remembering to relax, breathe, and rest when I need it.
3. Yoga gives me a better night’s sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important ways we can take care of ourselves; yet, most of us are chronically under-sleeping, and/or have trouble falling asleep at night.
On my yoga days, I have a much smoother, easier time settling in to relax and unwind in the evenings, even after a really tough day. Having my mind and body both at ease usually leads to a very much welcome good night’s sleep.
4. Yoga reminds me to be grateful.
We live in a society where we are used to often only seeing what we want: what we think we are lacking and desperately need.
Yoga reminds me to be grateful for and cherish what I have: a healthy and able body for asana, a loving relationship, a safe home, food in the cupboard, and a soft, warm bed to sleep in at night.
Things around us are constantly changing. In the ebb and flow of life, some days are boring, some are wonderful and beautiful, and some days are difficult and just plain rough. Yoga is one of the things that help carry me through, regardless of what the day brings, with gratitude and grace.
And this is why I just keep coming back.