Across the country, the ancient practice of yoga has been revived. Fitness enthusiasts turn to this gentle exercise to strengthen core body muscles and improve flexibility. While its physical benefits are obvious, even to those less experienced practitioners, yoga is equally powerful in strengthening the mind and spirit. If you have not yet decided whether yoga is right for you, here are just a few of the non-physical benefits you will enjoy when participating in this age-old practice.
The stretches and poses used in yoga are dependent on proper body alignment. With this alignment comes improved posture and a strong stature, which naturally encourage a person's self-confidence. A regular yoga routine will teach your body to maintain this stance, even when off the mat, creating consistent inner strength that will improve your everyday life.
Meditation techniques are frequently, if not always, incorporated into yoga practices, which are specifically developed to quiet the mind. Focusing on your breath and body movement helps to slow your inner dialogue. By practicing yoga, you will gain control over unwelcome thoughts, and learn how to disregard unnecessary concerns about the past and future. In this way, you will live more fully in the moment with a renewed awareness for the present.
The breathing techniques and body alignment that are vital to any yoga practice open the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Improved oxygenation allows the body's systems to work at a higher level. When practiced in the morning, yoga has the ability to energize your body, giving you an extra boost to get through the day. Alternatively, yoga can help calm the body when practiced at night, allowing your body to rest deeply. This, in turn, serves to improve energy levels as well.
All yoga techniques are aimed at creating balance not just within the body, but outside of the body as well. Deep breathing, focus, and even mantras are simple actions commonly used during yoga practices, which serve to strengthen the connection between the body, mind, and spirit. As such, yoga creates a balance throughout all aspects of your being, which will inevitably create balance in your worldly endeavors.
Yoga is a completely non-competitive sport. True yogis never compare one's practice to another's. A yoga session is a time to focus on the self, without regard to anyone or anything around you. Therefore, practicing yoga is an opportunity to be entirely at ease and to experience complete inner peace.
There are many physical benefits to be gained from yoga, but, as you can see, the non-physical benefits are equally compelling. With a disciplined yoga routine, you, too, can reap the rewards of this ancient practice. Yoga is not simply for those looking to get in shape; rather, it is a practice for those seeking strength and balance in all aspects of life.