What is Yoga and How Can I Benefit From It?

Kiss my asana

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What is yoga and how can I benefit from it?

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of movement in history. The connection between the Ancient Yogis and the modern day Western yoga practitioner today are evident yet subtle. Yoga is composed of linking together poses, the body’s energy and the breath. There are many benefits of yoga such as:

Learn to quiet the chatter in the mind.

Build bone density; weight bearing exercise is the only way to do this.

Listen and become in tune with your body.

Create a place for ‘me time’ on your yoga mat.

Build strength, core power, agility, grace and endurance.

Bring a greater awareness of the interconnection of ourself and nature.

Begin to increase flexibility, no matter how inflexible you are right now.

Decrease stress levels, knots, tension and Cortizol dramatically by increasing release of anti stress hormones DHEA and Oxytocin through a regular yoga practice.

Increase your daily energy level.

Increase your libido. Yep, you read that one right.

Develop healthy lifestyle habits.

Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Make new acquaintances and friends in class.

Become interconnected in the worldwide movement of positive, conscious like minded spirits.

Professional yoga teachers are taught through many lineages. To become a Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT it requires at least 200 hours of training and many practice and internship hours.  All schools are required to teach a variety of yoga asana and history in the curriculum. Finding a yoga studio or class that fits you may not be the first one you step into. Some yoga studios teach only the poses, or asanas, which is strictly the movement. Some yoga teachers teach the breath and the movement. Others focus on the entire mind | body | spirit connection.

Yoga is a practice unlike any other movement, sport or art in the world. Some people may associate yoga with a particular religion. This is untrue and not even possible as a whole, for each person is vastly different from the next.  Each person brings to their mat their own belief system. Yoga is what YOU interpret it to be, therefore, each individual’s yoga practice is vastly varied from another’s experience. Each person will walk off their mat into the world with the tools and inner dialogue that suits exactly what they need that day, on the condition that they let go and were open to the possibilities of what their body, breath and mind have for them in that present moment.

Staying in the present moment, being guided gently to push your own edges, leading into a blissful state of final relaxation is a wonderful addition to any lifestyle. This is yoga.


Lisa Ware is Dallas Yoga Journalist for Examiner.com


Original Article Appeared August 2012