In this mini-lesson, I have 2 very special guests: María Paula and Luisa Fernanda Gualy, founders of Alter-Yoga and yoga teachers in Bogotá, who dispel doubts and myths about the practice of yoga. You already know that self-care rituals are extremely important, so I hope you take advantage of this mini-lesson and start your yoga practice today. Enjoy it!
If one hears the word Yoga for the first time, images of hyper-flexible people who seem to defy all the laws of physics, meditating in positions impossible for human beings, may come to mind. We know very little about yoga and its innumerable benefits for health, not only physical, but also mental, and many times what we do know about the practice is surrounded by myths that distance us from it.
First of all, yoga is a lifestyle and not just physical. Yoga includes movement, meditation, and a global perspective that emphasizes love, honesty, generosity, and compassion. Yoga helps us find a balance and equilibrium in our lives that allows us to cultivate strength, flexibility, and above all…happiness.
And it is a tool that allows us to deal with the obstacles of our modern society. That is, it is proof of stress, lack of time, worries, etc. It is a practice to achieve and cultivate well-being in today’s world. But, we know that before starting something new, you will want to go into more detail and know the benefits you will get.
That is why we present you, below, the 8 main reasons why you should start practicing yoga TODAY:
1. Yoga improves your physical health
Even if we started doing yoga with the sole purpose of achieving our physical health, we would have already taken a very big step towards achieving well-being. Yoga has countless physical benefits and we have experienced them first-hand since the moment we started learning and practicing it 3 years ago.
Yoga improves your flexibility, increases your muscle strength, tones your body and improves your posture, all this by combining exercise and cardiovascular effort with muscle stretching and weight lifting by simply using our own body. Furthermore, it is an effective tool to stimulate your internal organs and systems and even when done properly, with the correct alignments, it prevents injury. In the same way, you will begin to cultivate a healthy relationship with your body, which will lead you to make conscious decisions of self-care and well-being.
2. Yoga helps you emotionally and mentally, without you having to give up your beliefs
Apart from the multiple physical benefits that you will receive, yoga has an impact on your mind and emotions. When you start doing yoga, you improve your concentration, you relax more and you connect more with the present moment, thanks to the power of your breath. With the practice of yoga you develop your innate abilities to human nature to overcome obstacles and to achieve a more positive vision of life.
Being spiritual or having a certain belief is not a requirement or an impediment to receiving all the benefits of yoga. Yoga is about choosing what is good for us and what makes us happy, it is about being good to others and to ourselves. That is it!
If religion or spirituality does not go with you, that is OK! The orientation of yoga as a spiritual discipline is not the only one. Remember that there are yoga classes for each one of the tastes and according to your own belief system you can find the perfect class for you, do not forget that in Alter-Yoga everyone is welcome and we have many classes for you.
3. You adjust the practice to the time you have
The great thing about doing yoga is that it is about finding time for yourself. You decide the amount of time you have available daily. And in this, a little goes a long way.
Here it is good that you are clear that there is no minimum time, nor an exact rule of how many times a week you have to practice, for yoga to be effective. But neither does it mean that only doing 2 or 3 hours, every 8 days, or once a month you will achieve the benefits. The key, as in everything, is to be constant.
At Alter-Yoga we recommend you practice yoga every day. But it does not mean that you should enroll in a yoga academy and go every day. It is easier than it sounds, because you can only spend 5 or 10 minutes each day. Even on days when you do not have 5 minutes, you can stop what you are doing for 1 minute and do a couple of repetitions of some simple yoga exercises.
In fact, at Alter-Yoga we have a series of Yoga Shots, which are very short videos for you to do yoga for just 1 or 2 minutes anywhere. We know that finding even 5 minutes in your daily routine may sound impossible, it happens to us too.
That is why if you need advice on how to find time to do yoga and, in general, to find a way to prioritize your personal care, we recommend you follow these practical tips from Esencialista.
4. You do not need any special equipment to do yoga
You can start practicing yoga now, seriously, even while reading this post. And we are not only talking about time, but about the wonderful fact that you do not need any special implements to do yoga. All you need is your breath and to be alive… And that is it!
And the yoga mat? The mat is an additional element to the practice of yoga but it is not essential, you can practice yoga on any non-slip flat surface. Although, of course, we recommend you find a place that you like and clean so that you feel good, any place on the floor will do.
Now, you do not need any special clothes for your practice. During a yoga session you will be standing, sitting, lying down, stretching, strengthening, so any type of comfortable clothing is important.
5. You can easily implement it into your daily routine, at the office, university or work
Not only your practice may be adapted to your time, but to the place where you are. You can practice it anywhere, in front of the computer, at home, in the office, on the plane, in short, anywhere. For example, a simple yoga session for your eyes every hour can make a difference. Or a practice in bed, as soon as you get up, can make a difference in your day.
Don’t you have a place to do postures lying down? No problem! Do a quick routine, only with standing poses! If you want ideas on how to incorporate yoga into your daily routine, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list, we will send you our Easy Yoga All Day booklet for free.
6. You already have the body necessary to do yoga
Let’s start by making this clear. You already have the perfect body to do yoga. Many times we get discouraged under the excuse that we are not flexible enough.
But, if we are not flexible, or strong, or unbalanced, that is precisely why we should do yoga. Saying that we don’t do yoga because we’re not flexible or strong is like saying that we can’t take a bath because we’re too dirty.
Guess what, to do yoga we are ALREADY flexible and strong enough. What does it matter if we can’t bring our foreheads to our knees or stand on our heads! That is not the goal of yoga, the goal is to accept our body as it is and work from there. In fact, flexibility and strength will come as a plus the more we practice. And even if it doesn’t reach the level we think and we never manage to bring our foreheads to our knees, our body will be full of energy, strength and vitality.
7. Once you start doing yoga, you take the connection everywhere
Sometimes we spend the day on autopilot without stopping to notice what we are doing, or how we feel, physically and mentally. With the practice of yoga you become aware of the connection between your body and your breath. Between your breath and your thoughts, between your mind and your body.
It is more likely that you will begin to be more aware of the present moment, of what surrounds you, of yourself, of what you eat, of the thoughts you have, of how you are breathing and in general about your habits during the day.
Yoga gives you, during practice, the tools to be more present outside of practice. It is one of the Mindfulness tools par excellence. Take advantage of them!
8. You will see the change in your body and mind very quickly
One of the questions we get asked the most is, when do I start to see results in yoga? If we limit ourselves to the results in your body, we can tell you from personal experience that we started to see the changes almost after the first week of starting to do yoga for the first time.
The body is very grateful and if we start to take care of it, with love, acceptance and care, without overdoing it, we will see how it responds quickly. When you start your yoga practice, in a short time you will feel more energetic, more flexible, you will sleep better, your posture will improve, you will notice that you are stronger, etc.
But we do not just notice changes; we also talk about changes in our mind, in our emotional intelligence. When we started our yoga practice, we began to get to know each other better, we began to connect more with the breath and we began to notice the connection between body and mind outside of class, in daily life.
Finally, it is important that you know that each process is different and the important thing is to trust yourself and the path you take when you start this practice. Do not forget to prioritize what is important, your health (mental, physical, emotional, etc.), commit to yourself and start taking care of yourself today.
And if you dared to start doing yoga today, but you still have doubts, do not forget to follow our Blog, where we solve them and talk about this discipline.