Y’all may have noticed that I’ve been posting a few pictures that Smalls’ snapped during my daily yoga practice on my Instagram account recently.
Now, I’m still very much a beginner as yogis go, and I’m entirely dependent upon my beginner Yoga Burn DVD series and my upright mirror 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,
Apparently, yoga is helpful in battling neurological disorders, like depression. I guess I should probably try it, huh?
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 the Tara Stiles yoga DVDs but found that I just wasn’t connecting with her practice the way I wanted to. That’s okay! If you try a workout and you don’t connect with the instructor that doesn’t mean you never try again!
So I started doing some research and came across what is quite possibly my favorite yoga practice ever.
I actually found Yoga Burn because of one of those annoying Facebook Ads. You know the ones that look like your friends have liked or shared a post but it’s actually an ad? Yeah, that. I kept seeing it, and I kept shrugging it off.
And then I caved.
And the Yoga Burn 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!
Obviously, yoga is helping me in ways I hadn’t expected.
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! Yoga has definitely been beneficial for me, and I am so thankful for that Facebook Ad that changed things for me.