Y’all may have noticed that I’ve been posting a few pictures that Smalls’ snapped during my daily yoga practice. Now, I’m still very much a beginner as yogis go, and I’m entirely dependent upon my favorite DVDs and my yoga fan for guidance at this point…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t found some surprising benefits (and reasons to stick with it!).
On a physical level, yoga helps improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance,” says Linda Schlamadinger McGrath, founder of YogaSource Los Gatos in California. “On an energetic level, yoga teaches you how to cope better with stress by cultivating a sense of ease in both active or passive poses. On a psychological level, yoga helps to cultivate mindfulness by shifting your awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that accompany a given pose or exercise.“
Now, I’ve heard about all of these benefits, but I honestly thought it was a lot more warm fuzzies than actual fact…turns out I was wrong. And it’s not the first time. I’ve tried many different types of yoga, though I will say that I did not enjoy all of them. In fact, I found some teachers so frustrating that I swore I would never do yoga again.
I really need to stop swearing things off because of a bad experience….
And when I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression, my doctor recommended that I take up yoga. Yesterday. Apparently, yoga is helpful in battling neurological disorders, like depression.
Begrudgingly, I agreed, but only if I could practice yoga away from the gym. Already being depressed, overweight, and overwhelmed didn’t sound like fun in a class setting. I started off with my Tara Stiles yoga DVDs, but found that I wasn’t connecting with her the way I had previously.
So I started doing some research and came across what is quite possibly my favorite yoga practice ever. There used to be a show on FitTV called Namaste Yoga…but they cancelled it. And it was the only yoga practice that I remember actually enjoying. I do like Strala,but often I don’t have time for a 40 minute practice.
And the Namaste practices all fit nicely under 30 minutes. Perfect for a busy mom like me. On top of that, the series gets progressively harder, and each practice builds upon itself. I’ve noticed that in just the past week my Triangle Pose has become far more enjoyable, and I’m nearly able to touch my heels to the floor in Downward Facing Dog.
Ish is loving my devotion to my practice because I’m no longer begging him for back rubs as soon as he walks in the door!
9 Unexpected Benefits of Yoga
- Decreased back pain
- Fewer asthma symptoms
- Stress reduction
- Increased metabolism (inversions are great for this!)
- Healthy heart
- Yoga Props may help rheumatoid arthritis
- Better sleep
- Better memory function
- Reduced PTSD symptoms
Maybe I’ll even get the courage to share my struggles with Postpartum Depression and PTSD if I keep this up! It’s definitely been beneficial for me.
What could a yoga practice do for you?
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