Ever since I've incorporated yoga into my lifestyle I've definitely noticed a shift. This wellNESS Thursday, I want to take a moment to talk about the benefits of practicing yoga.
Mentally. Physically. Spiritually.
The 3 areas yoga touches.
I've been pretty transparent about the fact that I've struggled with anxiety and depression ever since High School. I remember times when I just didn't want to live anymore. There was no point in moving forward and pressing on. I was on anti-depressants for like a week but refused to become a slave to medication.
With the development, expansion, and growth of my relationship with God (which I'll touch on later) and the addition of incorporating yoga into my lifestyle I began to get control over my anxiety and depression, holistically.
Yoga encompasses a bit of mediation. You are starting and ending each practice with a period of centering. Here you slow down, focus on your breathing, let go of any negative thoughts and just be.
Breath work does wonders for relieving stress and anxiety while helping you to focus and just overall loosen tight or tensed muscles.
If you're interested in trying some guided meditation, Faith Hunter had a 30day meditation challenge that is absolutely amazing. Take 10minutes a day to do it and it will change your life.
Yoga, obviously, has physical benefits as it is an exercise practice. Depending on what type of yoga you're doing, you can do anything from light stretching to full on sweating and getting your heart rate all the way up.
As you advanced to doing arm balances and inversions you'll gain strength and build muscles through using it as a calisthenic workout because you're ultimately using your own body weight and no other weights, machines, or props.
Another physical benefit is gaining flexibility. Over time, with safe consistent stretching, I've come to be able to split and even touch my toes to my head. I've heard too often people say that they can't do yoga because they're not flexible enough but that's what you gain by doing it!
Spiritual growth goes hand in hand with the mental aspect of yoga. Though yoga originated in the Hinduism and Buddhism religions it is not isolated to them to practice. I'm a Christian and believe Jesus Christ is my savior as he died for my sins on the cross and I still practice yoga.
They say prayer is when you talk to God, meditation is when you listen. I often use my practice as my "quiet time". A way to hone in with him and get quiet before him.
I often will begin my practice with simple breath work and centering followed by flowing to contemporary Christian music, and then wrap up in complete silence to pray, meditate/listen where I'm open to whatever he allows to flow into my heart.
Being able to slow down and take a moment for self-care has definitely played a part in growing in this area of my life.
So there you have it, the three benefits of yoga.
Do you practice yoga? If not what's stopping you?!
Be awesomely amazing,
xo Vanessa Michele