When I moved to Vancouver, I quickly learned how popular yoga is. As someone who faithfully wore yoga pants that never saw a yoga class, I couldn't understand why. I have never been very flexible, and I hate being still for long periods of time, so I didn't see the appeal. But, when I bought a gym membership that provided access to classes, I thought why not? I'm so thankful that I tried it, because it is now one of my favourite exercises. So, here are five reasons why I love yoga:
1. It forces you to focus on the present
We are constantly multitasking throughout the day. While I'm in class, I'm worrying about homework I have to do later. When I'm doing homework, I'm distracted by social media. Even when I'm watching TV, I'm still scrolling through my Instagram feed. Yoga forces you to leave all distractions at the door during your practice because you have to be completely aware of your breathing and every move you make. It can feel weird at first, but it's also so refreshing.
2. You can do it at home
It can be fun to go to classes but if you don't have the time, or the money, yoga is really easy to do at home. You can find YouTube videos to guide you no matter what level you are, which is also a great way to have a class that feels completely custom to your abilities. One of my favourite channels is Yoga with Adriene!
3. It reduces stress
It's amazing what slowing down your breath can do for stress and/or anxiety.
4. It helps with muscle pain
I used to always have a sore lower back from tight muscles. When I started doing yoga, I was amazed to see how quickly this changed. As students, we spend so much of our time hunched over desks and sitting down, which wreaks havoc on your body. You can find yoga routines that target specific muscle groups or combat the impact of sitting all day. Even twenty minutes makes a difference.
5. It has taught me the importance of self love & inner strength
I always thought that yoga was solely for extremely thin people that were naturally flexible. But, I've learned that yoga is for everyone, and our bodies can do a lot more than we give them credit for. Although form is important to prevent damage, there is no such thing as a "perfect pose". Your practice is something special that is just for you, and it has made me appreciate my body a lot more.
If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you give yoga a chance-your body will thank you later.