Getting started can be the hardest part of any new undertaking. We are great at finding excuses not to do something: "I am not sure I will like it, I am not strong enough, it might be too hard," etc… But every important and worthwhile venture has a starting point and sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and go for it.
You can always find a reason NOT to try Yoga. Life has a way of offering many distractions in endless succession and one day you wake up and wonder where exactly your life is heading. What you really need is a good reason to begin a practice which can change your life.
Here are just a few of the physical benefits of a regular Yoga practice:
Builds muscle strength
Calms the mind
Helps regulate blood pressure
Improves your bone structure
Increases core strength
Benefits your posture and protects your spine
Improves blood flow throughout the body and organs
Increases positivity - decreasing anxiety and depression
Strengthens immune system
However, Yoga isn’t just for the young, the fit, or the flexible. There are diverse yoga styles that meet people at any point in their journey, at every level, and for every lifestyle.
Some of the more popular forms of Yoga Practice:
Ashtanga - connects the body with the breath in a set series of asanas (poses)
Chair - gentle style of yoga performed using the aid of a chair
Hatha - focuses on the mastery of the physical asanas (poses) through proper alignment
Prenatal - coordinated breathing and poses, suitable for expecting women often using props
Restorative - uses a variety of props so you can fully relax into the asanas (poses), increasing flexibility and releasing tension
Vinyasa - focuses on the coordination of the breath with movement and is an active yoga style, often moving seamlessly from one pose to the next.
Yin - asanas (poses) are held for several minutes to target the connective tissues and ligaments.
Some common misconceptions about Yoga:
Yoga is just for females.
Nope, in fact, yoga was created for males several thousand years ago in India.
Yoga requires flexibility.
Flexibility is not a requirement but rather increased flexibility is a result of yoga.
Yoga is a religion.
Yoga isn’t a religion but rather physical postures, breath work (pranayama) and mindful meditation that helps connect our body, mind, and breath. It originated as a philosophy and has been incorporated into several religious traditions, however, it is itself a religiously neutral practice.
Yoga is just for hippies and vegetarians.
Yoga is practiced all over the world by people of every race, lifestyle, and religion.
Yoga is dangerous and people can get hurt.
When practiced with a certified teacher, at a level and style of yoga that is right for you, yoga is safe and can have amazing benefits. It is important when starting a Yoga practice to begin with an instructor that can fully explain the proper postures and alignment as well as tips for making your practice work for you.
We are excited to be offering many options both now and in the fall to help you begin your yoga journey. Check out our upcoming events page to learn more.
Shannon Knox currently teaches a Yoga Beginners Series as well as Ritual Yoga (an ongoing beginner to intermediate yoga class). Click here to learn more.