My yoga routine has lessened drastically as of late, though I find myself missing it more and more every day. Currently I do a 15 minute prenatal yoga routine at home maybe 2-3 times a month, while I used to take 2-3 yoga classes a week. My body is craving yoga lately, and for good reason:
- Yoga helps you gain flexibility. This one is pretty well known, but what most people don’t realize is you do not need to be a flexible person to start yoga. There are modifications and props for every pose to help those with less flexibility get into the pose and reap the benefits – and trust me, in the majority of yoga classes, most students are doing the modifications. It is rare that you step into a yoga class and everyone is easily and perfectly going in and out of poses. So doing yoga, no matter your level of flexibility, helps you stretch and relax your muscles.
- Yoga helps you gain strength. No dumbbells or fancy strength training equipment required. Yoga has you use your body weight to gain strength allover. From your shoulders, legs and core, you will definitely gain strength with yoga.
- Yoga relaxes your mind. (This is one of the aspects I’ve really been missing lately!) You may have visions of hippies talking nonsensical mumbo-jumbo about peace and love, and yes, there are yoga teachers out there that are like that. But most aren’t. Most yoga instructors lead normal lives, deal with normal stresses, and talk to you about normal stuff during class. They lead you in simple breathing and thought patterns to help you ease the craziness of the mind. And let me tell you – there is a huge difference between telling yourself everything is going to be alright and having someone else telling you that everything is going to be alright.
- Yoga improves your posture. Most of us have horrible posture – from being slumped over a laptop to being hunched over a smartphone, we treat our bodies pretty poorly over the course of a day. Bad posture leads to muscle and joint problems, especially back and neck pain. Yoga helps you realign your body to it’s proper alignment and makes you more aware when you are slouching or hunching so you can correct yourself and keep pain at bay.
- Yoga makes you happier! Studies have found that regular yoga practice improved depression not only at a personal level but at a chemical level as well. Yoga significantly increases a person’s level of feel-good hormones such as cortisol and serotonin. So smile – yoga makes you happy!
These are just a few of the benefits of yoga, but they are the main ones that keep me going back to the mat. And while I’m adjusting to a new body, I’m happy to have found the #flexandflow challenge with FitApproach. It’s easy – they give you suggested poses for the day. You can do those, or choose your own.
And I even found out – I’m not losing as much of my yogability with my growing belly bump. Check out these two pictures – not to shabby for 27 weeks!
You can follow along with me and the #flexandflow challenge on instagram.
Let’s all be healthy and happy with yoga!