For years now, no matter what my week is like, I have made my yoga practice a priority. Each week, I find time to attend a yoga class or two at one of my favorite local studios, and I practice yoga one or two more times on my own in my home studio (pictured below). The reasons I practice yoga have changed since I started and continue to evolve.
Top 10 Reasons I Practice Yoga
1. My yoga practice is the perfect antidote to living on this crazy planet.
Life can get fast-paced and busy, but I’m not sure it’s supposed to be that way. And then there are all those worries that can mount if I let my mind do its thing without using some tools to find balance. Yoga gives me those tools.
2. My yoga practice helps me find tranquility and inner peace.
Like a lot of people, I often find I need to step away from the noise and chaos. In fact, it seems to be the only thing that truly matters sometimes. That’s why, no matter what is happening around me, my yoga practice is my lifeline. I know that there is no better way to find inner peace and calmness. I’m more in tune with my body, mind and spirit.
3. I know how to breathe now!
That may not seem like a big thing or even something a person would need to learn, but making sure to breathe well and properly is one of the most important reasons I practice yoga. As one of my favorite teachers often said, “Yoga is all about the breath.”
4. I’m more aware of body.
Why is this a good thing? Because it’s the first step to things like better posture and even self-confidence.
5. Yoga has improved my physical body.
I’m in better physical shape than before I started a regular yoga practice. That’s because the physical exercise (asana practice) of yoga helps tone muscles, increase flexibility, and strengthen the spine.
6. In fact, yoga improves every aspect of my health.
Yoga is also known to boost immunity, and it’s no secret that a healthy body is essential in times of stress. It’s truly amazing how focusing on the simple action of breathing can improve my energy level and calm my mind at the same time. All of this makes it so much easier to deal with not only the physical, but also the emotional and mental challenges of life.
7. My yoga practice opens the door to an inner stillness or inner listening.
And that leads to another one of the main reasons I practice yoga—to prepare my body for meditation.
8. My yoga practice has taught me that even If I don’t want to be still, my entire life can still be a meditation.
Even asana practice itself can be looked at as form of meditation (in motion). When I’m aware of my body, I move with intention. And that’s the whole idea.
9. This mental aspect of yoga improves concentration and a host of other things.
By learning to breathe and move with intention through yoga, my ability to focus for longer periods of time without being overwhelmed by anxiety or stress has improved. This translates into every aspect of my life that requires mindfulness, even my work.
10. Yoga friends are the best.
Never does the term “like-minded people” mean more than when I’m among fellow yogis. Connection is the at the top of my list of reasons I practice yoga. (So, yes; I’ve saved the best for last.) Of course, there are many types of yoga and many types of yogis. I had to search a bit to find the right yoga community for me. But after spending time in different studios practicing different styles of yoga with different types of people, I met those I now happily count among my closest friends.
The ancient discipline of yoga came about to enable practitioners to connect to a higher place. Now, when problems and worries arise (and they do), I have a healthy way to manage stress. There is solace in yoga. It teaches a way beyond the trials that occur in everyone’s life. Yoga offers tools for improving mental, emotional and physical being.
A Yoga Practice Can Change Your Life Too
I often hear it said that yoga can change lives. In fact, I recently read about the science behind the life-changing powers of yoga.
If I’m any indication, yoga’s ability to change lives is real. I’m not saying I’m dramatically different. In fact, to many people who don’t know me that well, I might not seem different at all. But I am, or at least my ego is. In yoga we learn that the true self does not change, but our relationship to it or knowledge of it does.
Yoga is a practice of self-improvement and self-exploration that I’m not sure I could live (well) without. Join me on (and off) the mat, and perhaps you’ll agree with the reasons I practice yoga and then some.
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
I’m Maria, devoted yogini and author of Yoga Circles. I’m a writer, editor, and content marketing creator. I help small businesses, wellness brands, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and communicate effectively in writing. Visit my website (link below) to learn how I can help you connect with more readers, clients, and students!