Yoga can be intimidating for beginners, especially if you’re a little self-conscious. And who could blame you? The Instagram version of yoga seems to suggest that you can only do yoga if you’re slim and wearing lycra pants and a crop top. But this is not the case. In fact, this unhealthy messaging is the opposite of what yoga is all about!
If you’ve been put off by Insta-yoga but you’re interested in how this practice could enhance your life, here are some of the true benefits of yoga to get you motivated.
Yoga Can Help You Break Bad Habits
If you’ve tried to break a bad habit, you’ll know how hard it can be to banish those urges from your life. While it may be tempting to focus on the habit itself, it helps to recognize that being stuck in a cycle of addictive behaviour could be a sign that you’re suffering from imbalances in other areas of your life. These imbalances at the root of your struggles could be stress or anxiety-related. If so, after just a couple of yoga sessions, you may start to see profound benefits as a result of the deep relation that yoga promotes. In a calm state, you’ll be more aware of how your mind and body interact to form your moods and cravings, meaning you’ll be more in tune with what your body is telling you. Understanding your body’s signals will help you give your body what it needs and naturally start to avoid things that do your body harm.
Shift Your Focus Away From Weight Loss
Contrary to what our image-obsessed culture may be telling you, your motivation to lose weight should not be in order to look better in jeans. If you are carrying a little more weight than is healthy for your body, then yoga can help you understand the more subtle and important ways that the extra weight is impacting your mental and physical health. In yoga, you’ll pay attention to how it feels to be in your body. This means experiencing your body in motion and understanding what would make your practice more comfortable and sustainable. After a couple of yoga classes, the focus on posture and alignment over aesthetics could mean you’re more interested in booking your chiropractic adjustment than shedding a couple of extra pounds to fit into your old jeans. And if you lose weight in the process, that’s just a side-effect of you caring for your body.
Boost Self Appreciation
One of the core tenets of yoga is focusing your attention on the present moment. This means you learn to stop thinking about the past or the future and rather accept what’s happening in the here and now. Part of that is accepting your body and mental state as they are, rather than criticizing yourself for what you can’t do or how you look. Not only will this mindful approach foster a sense of contentment, but you’ll start appreciating yourself for being who you are.
Yoga should be for everybody. Don’t let the modern culture around this ancient practice stop you from seeing the real benefits that could enhance your life.