Why You Should Try Yoga

Unless you live under a rock (and maybe even then) you’ve heard of yoga. Be it from friends, family, books, online or just on the grapevine, you have probably come across this practice. But the term yoga actually covers many different styles and forms of the exercise. There is hatha, yin, vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram and power, just to name a few out of dozens led by different teachers and named by different founders! The fascinating and emersive practice is generally agreed to have originated in Ancient India, but there is no agreed date of ‘creation’. However, it is most definitely an ancient practice, with evidence pointing to its mention within the Rigveda, a sacred Hindu text estimated to date between 1,000-1,500 B.C.E. (or B.C).

There are so many misconceptions about yoga in general. Some view it as some hippie-dippie thing, while others perceive it to be a feminine pursuit (whatever that means), and there are thoughts that it is either not ‘hard’ enough or that it is too ‘hard’ and you need to be very flexible to do it. There are many other views, as well as the above mentioned, that I have found to be entirely false. Yoga is for everyone, in any time or stage of life where you can physically move. It can align with any goal – to lose weight, build strength, become more flexible or agile, to stretch and release tension, to heal, to become more active, and many more. The beauty of yoga is that there is a style and teacher to fit every single person and every single desire, and when you explore this and find what and potentially who fits you, it is something you will undoubtedly benefit from – mentally, emotionally and physically.

To share my own experience, I discovered yoga only four years ago, aged 18. It started as a fitness thing for me. At the time I was a new student, lived in-land and didn’t drive, so I found I was becoming increasingly sedentary. I never liked going to the gym and juggling a law degree, work, family, animals, and a social life left me short on time to always be able to commit to making myself go. I started looking at home workouts that I could easily fit in. This is when I stumbled across pilates, which led me to yoga. Pilates is a relatively modern discipline forged in the 20th Century by Joseph Pilates, but I find it goes hand in hand with yoga. Ironically, the channels I started learning with are still my go-to’s four years later – particularly my all-round favourite and a true inspiration to me, Boho Beautiful.

Finding yoga was a huge lifestyle change for me – in fact, I would say it was life-changing! I found something in it that I loved, and it connected with me deeply. It wasn’t that I hadn’t loved other forms of fitness, all of which bring incredible benefits to the body and mind. But yoga reignited my love for being active in a time where I was swamped and struggled to think of exercise as anything more than a chore at the bottom of a long to-do list. I was inspired and instantly wanted more. I made time in my day – even if that meant getting up earlier or going to bed later sometimes. It wasn’t a thing that had to be done but something I desperately wanted to do. I feel that way still almost every single day and when things understandably do get in the way, I feel like my mind and body begin to scream out to get on my mat.

Over the four years that I’ve done yoga it has helped me through so many difficult times. The practice has helped me deal with grief and loss, depression and anxiety, frustration and stress, sadness and anger, overwhelm and fear. It also helped me embrace so much positivity – healing and calming, invoking happiness, stillness, gratitude, love and focus. The thing is with yoga, it is just as much a mental and emotional tool as it is a physical one. It led me to respect my body and be kinder to myself, and I learnt how to let go of things that brought me no good and become more aware of my body and mind on a deeper level. Especially in hard times, I find it to be a fantastic way of recovering and processing. It is also truly mood changing and bestows an idea of listening to and appreciating your body and all it does.

Ultimately, everyone is different and everyone resonates with different things. Yoga can allow you to build slow but long-term strength, agility and flexibility. It brings a release of bodily tension, and can provide weight loss, toning, and definition. Upon that, it also assists in achieving better posture, concentration, breathing, and physical awareness. And if you want it to be, yoga can be a deeply spiritual experience beyond the physical. Yoga in itself is not religious, although it is strongly connected to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, but it brings a connection with your self and life that goes way beyond the sometimes shallow day-to-day realities we face, if you are open and wish to venture into that aspect of the practice.

There is so much to explore in yoga. I believe it is a constant journey rather than a discipline that you ‘master’ – from poses, breathwork, mental control and focus, techniques, form, scripture, to history. It is so much more than a way to work out, but the amazing thing is that it can be what you want it to be. It can be absolutely tailored to you. For me, yoga is something I could not imagine never doing again and I still have so much to learn about it and from it. Whatever is going on in your life, I would implore you to try yoga out with an open mind – you may end up finding something that will stick with you for the rest of your life!

If you enjoyed this read, drop a like and follow for more lifestyle and travel content like this delivered straight to your inbox. Feel free to comment your personal experience with yoga, or if this post inspired you to try it out what you thought as I’d be so interested to hear! Wishing you all an amazing rest of your day.


8 thoughts on “Why You Should Try Yoga

  1. Funny this article should pop up on my feed – I’ve been really thinking about getting into yoga for a while now. Going to get a mat and try it, at last! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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