I’ll admit I can be pretty cliched.  A new year means new beginnings which means I start off all good habits again.  And year after year it’s the same ones.




This means I’m back on the yoga band wagon again.  The added excitement for me that just might keep me going is that our gym has introduced Hot Yoga.  Nothing better than sweating it out in a 38 degree heated room with 30 others and not forking out $25 a sesh for it – so there goes my excuse to quit.

We’ll talk more about the specifics of hot yoga in another post.  A number of my well meaning friends kind of snort when I say I’m doing yoga to get fit.  Clearly they are cliched as well – with images of us sitting around cross legged holding hands and chanting.

Hah! If only they knew!

But there are a lot of benefits that yoga can bring to your life – both physical and non-physical. So let’s take a closer look

Even though the popularity of yoga has grown exponentially over the last few decades, it is actually a 5,000-year-old discipline, which originated in India. This practice was developed to help individuals unite their mind and body. There are several types of yoga, and all of them are based on different kinds of movements, referred to as poses.

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The main reason why you should start doing yoga is because it will simply make you feel better. Not only will it improve the health of your body, but it will also have a positive effect on your mental and spiritual well-being.

As far as health benefits go, yoga is known for improving poor blood circulation, reducing headaches and symptoms associated with arthritis, lowering high blood pressure, and decreasing the chance of suffering from depression.

One of the great things about yoga is that it is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or professional athlete, a teenager, a middle-aged mom, a body-builder, or an older gentleman – you’ll definitely experience some great health benefits by signing up for a yoga class.

However, yoga will also have a huge impact on your day-to-day lifestyle. Here are 5 ways this practice can improve your life.

Stress Relief

Yoga is not a practice that only affects your physical health. No matter what type of yoga you choose to practice, you’ll always be required to clear your mind and focus on the present moment. By doing yoga, you’ll learn how to let go of your worries, thus allowing yourself to relax properly.

By combating stress, yoga will save you from numerous potential health problems. Stress is currently one of the main causes of major diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Confidence Boost

Through self-awareness, yoga will help give your confidence a significant boost. By engaging in this practice, you will test your bodily boundaries and limits. This will cause you to improve your strength, flexibility, and endurance over time, thus helping you realize what you’re really capable of. Seeing all of these improvements will increase your self-confidence, which is without a doubt one of the keys to happiness and success.

Patience

In order to master some of the more difficult yoga poses, you’ll have to work on your patience. Most people today never want to wait for anything; they want everything here and now. However, this type of impatient thinking won’t get you anywhere in life. Being patient will allow you to stay calm and collected whenever you’re facing a challenge.

Improved Endurance

Although most people who don’t practice yoga aren’t aware of this, the stationary poses in yoga have a huge impact on your endurance. The main reason why you’ll improve your endurance if you practice yoga is that this practice will emphasize awareness of breath at all times. Awareness of breath is important for all physical activities, although you probably won’t have a chance to practice it in the same way as you can during a yoga class. For example, chances are that you’ll improve the way you breathe more if you practice yoga than if you practice long distance running.

Nevertheless, as a long-distance runner, you can greatly benefit from yoga, since you’ll learn how to breathe better when running, thus improving your endurance.

Enhanced Focus

One of the most important benefits of yoga is that it will help you focus on the present. Thinking about the past and future will often cause you to have distractions when working on something important. However, by completely focusing on what you’re currently doing, you’ll improve your concentration, problem-solving skills, and memory.

Here are some interesting stats on just why many people take up yoga in order to benefit their lives

5 ways yoga can improve your life infographic