6 reasons why I do yoga

Many people do yoga nowadays, and I’m not an exception. Maybe it’s time for you to give it a try? If you’re hesitating, here are six reasons why I do yoga.

Everybody can find their own style

I first did yoga six years ago. I attended a yoga class at my university, and I felt like I didn’t do well because I had never done any sports and I’d never been flexible enough.

In fact, doing yoga is not about being flexible. It’s more than just holding complicated poses and taking pictures to post them on Instagram. It’s also wrong to think that only a flexible person can do yoga. You become more flexible as you do yoga, but it’s not a prerequisite and definitely not a reason why you should avoid yoga.

There are plenty of yoga styles for different levels, so if you didn’t like an Iyengar yoga class, you can go to another class – for example, try Ashtanga yoga. Hatha yoga is the most universal style, so if you’re a beginner, try Hatha yoga to understand the basics.

Easy to get started

One of the reasons why I started doing yoga is that it was easy to start. I started practising yoga when I went to a yoga class at my university six years ago. I bought the cheapest yoga mat I could find, but most yoga studios usually have some, so it’s okay if you don’t have it for your first class.

When you go to the gym or go jogging, you might quickly find yourself demotivated. Unless you hire a personal trainer, you don’t know whether you’re doing it right or wrong. Yoga classes always include an instructor’s guidance, so whenever you’re confused, the instructor will is there to help. If you’ve never tried yoga, it’s super simple to start because the teacher will explain everything.

It was also easier to make yoga part of my daily routine. Sometimes I feel too lazy to grab my bag and go to the gym, so in that case, I just lay out my yoga mat and do yoga at home. It’s so easy to start practising yoga because I can spend as much time on it as I like. When I feel tired and low in energy, 15 minutes of yoga is enough to make you feel better. When I’m full of energy, I can spend an hour on my yoga mat.

Staying fit and strong!

Many people underestimate yoga and think it’s too slow to make them stronger. In fact, some yoga styles, such as Vinyasa yoga and Ashtanga yoga, are so dynamic that by the end of the practice you’ll be sweating.

However, even if the pace of the practice is slow, it doesn’t mean that it’s too simple. Yoga postures should be held for long periods of time, and it requires muscle activation, body control, strength and endurance. Even the classic downward-facing dog pose can be challenging because you need to focus on stretching your spine, pressing your fingers into the floor and widening your shoulders.

Read: Marathon training during Covid-19

Good for physical health

Another reason why I do yoga is that it’s good for my health. Yoga helps me to keep my spine healthy because doing yoga eases back pain after a day spent in front of my laptop. I like to do yoga first thing in the morning, as it helps me to warm up and awaken my muscles after sleep.

Apart from that, there are long-term benefits of yoga for your health. It can strengthen your immune system, increase bone density, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. One of the reasons why yoga is so good for health is that it improves blood circulation, which positively affects the whole body. Yoga is also impossible without breathing, so doing yoga properly, you fill your body with oxygen.

Good for mental health

Yoga does not only improve your physical health but also mental well-being. Doing yoga reduces tension in the body, which can also help you to reduce stress, clear your mind and have less anxiety.

Yoga is different from other types of sports; strictly speaking, yoga isn’t a sport because it combines postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga is not limited to physical exercise, so if you’re doing yoga for the sake of performance and cool pictures, you’re not doing yoga.

Yoga requires being conscious in the present moment. Holding asanas with a busy mind is not that easy. I can’t do balancing postures when I have too much going through my head. That’s why yoga teaches you to leave the mundane things aside and concentrate on your body and your mind.

Yoga doesn’t push you too hard

One of the principles of yoga is ahimsa, which means non-violence. This principle includes being kind to other people and also to yourself.

In many sports, it’s usual to push yourself to the edge so that it almost hurts. On the other hand, yoga teaches you to stop as soon as you start feeling pain, and that’s what I like about yoga.

It doesn’t mean you should not aim to improve your flexibility, but it prevents you from having overstretched muscles. If you want to do a split in two weeks, yoga is probably not for you, but it will help you if you want to do better than you did yesterday.

In yoga, there are also many variations of the same pose, so if you’re just a beginner, you can do a simpler variation of a pose you’re striving towards. If you can’t do a standing forward fold, you can soften your knees and fold just as far as you can.

Yoga is a thing you can do whether you’re in a good or a bad mood. You can do yoga whether you’re feeling tired or energetic. You can do it alone or with other people, or you can even join an online class. With so many options, you’ll definitely find your reason to do yoga.

Kamila Mushkina
Kamila Mushkina

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