5 healing benefits of yoga
I used to be so inflexible, I was a million miles from being able to touch my toes! But, after six years or so of developing a very dedicated and strong yoga practice, I am now able to feel so many amazing health benefits not just for the body but (more importantly) the mind. And it is my passion and goal to share this with as many people as I possibly can!
I can honestly say that I do not know what my life would be like without yoga today – it will forever be a true gift.
Even though this article began with me talking about flexibility, let me tell you that flexibility is simply just a byproduct of this wonderful practice. There are so many other healing benefits to be experienced along the way.
Here are my top five benefits of yoga.
1. Yoga allows you to connect with your body on a deep level
Yoga is a very internal practice. You are tuning into the subtle sensations of your body, that perhaps on a day-to-day basis you forget to or ignore. This brings up so much that we can then work with.
My yoga teacher always said to me “How do you know if you are working too hard if you can’t even feel that your lower back holds so much tension/tightness.” I thought this was so true! Connecting with your body in this way allows you to be more intuitive and give it what it needs when it needs it – rest, exercise, food, love, warmth, etc.
2. Yoga can teach you to transition softly
In my classes I always teach how it’s not just about the specific pose you are in, it is about how you transition from one to the next; in an unhurried, unrushed way, reducing rigidity.
Moving in this way can help us to do so in our daily lives, as we transition through seasons, phases of our lives, in and out of lockdown, and so many other things.
3. Yoga encourages you to go with the flow
After the last year, we are all having to go with the flow. Who knows what is going to happen next in life. As much as we try to plan and control this, by flowing on the mat, perhaps we can learn how to let go of our need to control, and just surrender to the flow of life!
4. Yoga allows you to tune into your breath
The breath is the thing that keeps us alive! It’s so easy to forget to breathe, to not take any time at all to focus on the thing that gives us life. Yoga, however, is a time and space to do just this.
The breath, in my opinion, is the most important part of the practice, and the movement is just a tool to find ways to deepen, lengthen, and expand the breath. And there is nothing that feels better than this.
5. Yoga helps you to feel lighter and longer, with more space
Moving your body like you do in yoga on the mat is a way to create so much space, and to feel lighter and longer. And, if we can feel like this in our practice, we can bring this spaciousness, this lightness and this length into our lives, difficult conversations, important decisions, etc.
And it is these things that bring me back to the mat, every single day.
How to start a yoga practice
If you want to start a yoga practice, here are my three top tips to get you going:
- Do a little bit every day – even if it is five minutes in a gentle forward fold, it is so much better than nothing!
- Don’t focus on what it looks like, focus on what it feels like. We all have different bodies, so each shape will look different for everybody. But it will feel the same, and this is the most important thing.
- Get clear on why you want to practice yoga, and what your intention is. Is it something physical? Mental? Emotional? Spiritual? Once we know what our why is, it gives us the purpose and reason we need to create a dedicated practice.
You can also find Grace on Hypnotherapy Directory, where you can learn about Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) and what this can support with.
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