WHY YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE? September 07 2022
Have you thought yoga is not for you because you are too stiff? Or maybe you thought you are too old for it or too big, or... fill in the blank?
If you have, this article will help you rethink the idea of yoga practice, and you'll discover why yoga suits everyone's needs, regardless of age, gender, race, size, shape, background, and fitness level!
Our prejudice, that this practice might not be for us comes from our perception based on what we have seen online: skinny, athletic, and flexible females doing complex shapes with their bodies. But that's not at all what yoga is.
Yoga can meet you wherever you are in that moment, not the other way around. It's not about going into the perfect pose or being able to do the poses with ease. The word "yoga" means union of body, mind, and spirit. It is a healing, strengthening, calming, and empowering practice that offers something for everybody.
Below I'll share six reasons why everyone can benefit from this practice:
Builds strength and increases flexibility
When we practice yoga, we use the body to support itself in different postures. Teachers offer modifications of each ASANA (pose), and students can choose what fits their body best.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that brings awareness to our breathing, thoughts, and reactions beyond our yoga mat. We become more mindful overall and better at managing chronic stress.
It is portable
You can practice yoga wherever you go. All you need is your body and a little bit of your time. Mats are easy to carry, but if you don't have a mat, you can also use a rug or a towel.
Yoga is a practice, not a competition of whose pose is better. It's about listening to our body and doing what feels good.
Deepens your connection with your inner self
The practice of yoga allows us to observe our inner voice. Understanding our feelings and being aware of our thoughts allows us to understand ourselves fully.
Can improve sleep
Studies show that yoga practice improves the quality of sleep. Everyone can benefit from it, from children to the elderly.
"For instance, sleep disorders are common among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder4. Yoga as a behavior intervention can lessen stress for children with ASD5 and improve their mental health, which can help with sleeping difficulties. It can also help parents, and subsequently contributes to the well-being of the family unit."
Improves our mood
As a form of exercise, yoga lowers the stress hormones in our bodies while, simultaneously increasing the release of beneficial brain chemicals like endorphins, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin, and dopamine. These feel-good chemicals help decrease anxiety and improve mood.