Inhale, Exhale, & Say “Namaste”: The Benefits of Yoga

                      

I’ll admit that yoga wasn’t always my favorite workout.

In fact, I never really even liked yoga all that much. I thought it was boring, it didn’t relax me, and some of it hurt. However, with the pandemic happening, I’ve had to switch to at-home workouts. And now that I’m out of school and stressed with work, yoga and meditation has actually helped me calm down. 

The main reason I think I’ve grown an appreciation for yoga is that it’s now something that I am choosing to do. Any other times I’ve done yoga was as a warmup in my dance classes. It was something that I was required to do, and that other people thought would benefit me.

I think the secret to yoga, or any workout, is that it has to be something that you enjoy and actually want to do. That’s the only way you’ll look forward to doing it more often. 

Yoga is an extremely popular workout these days, with many celebrities singing its praises and claiming it as a part of their fitness routines. 

Why? 

Plenty of reasons.

It’s easy to do. You can do it at home, which in the pandemic is a lifesaver. There are classes both at gyms, and on Zoom, and there’s also videos online. It doesn’t take too long to do. You only need a mat, and if you don’t have one, you can just use a long towel or blanket, or just use your carpet or floor. It doesn’t hurt, most of the time. But perhaps most importantly, it’s good for both your body and your mind.

Yoga has a lot of benefits for your body. It’s a form of exercise and stretching, so it can help you stay in shape. Connecticut based trainer, Lindsay Hiebert, says yoga is a great form of exercise. “Yoga benefits the body by creating a better understanding of how the body moves,” she says. “Yoga helps build flexibility, balance, patience, and strength of mind and muscle.” A study from Harvard Health revealed that yoga can help people with back pain and arthritis. 

Yoga helps build flexibility, balance, patience, and strength of mind and muscle

Yoga is also good for your mind. It can center and relax you. Yoga encourages participants to focus on their breath. While breathing is something we do naturally, we can sometimes forget to really focus on it. Deep breathing is a common way of calming ourselves and letting go of stress. Heibert also says that yoga can help you be more aware of your body movements. “Yoga brings mindfulness to your movement by adding breath work and flexibility. The more mindful and intentional you are in your movement the more achievable your goals will be.”

It’s true that other workouts can help your mind just as much as your body. Working out at the gym or going for a run can be a way to reduce stress or clear your head. However, yoga is a workout that actively promotes clearing your mind and centering yourself. Yoga is linked to the practice of mediation, which can help people achieve a more calm state and become more aware and attentive in their daily life. 

Yoga is a great way to workout. It’s easy, it doesn’t take all that much time, it can be done anywhere, and it can benefit both your body and your mind. So next time you need a workout, or if you need a way to de-stress, consider a yoga class. 

<strong>Anna Bechtel</strong>
Anna Bechtel

Anna is from and currently resides in Hamden, CT. She went to Drew University, where she majored in English and minored in media & communications. Anna is a freelance writer, and has written for Eat This Not That, Celebwell, The Odyssey Online, CollegeCandy.com, The Access Report, and The Buttonwood Tree. Ana also has her own blog, All Podcasts All The Time. In her spare time, she loves dancing, photography, shopping, listening to podcasts & music, and watching reality TV.