Not Your Doctor’s Checklist: The Top 4 Benefits of Doing Yoga

It may sound cliché, but yoga changed my life, and continues to with every practice. From that transformation, I have created this list of the top 4 benefits of doing yoga.

 

As a little preface, you should know that before yoga came into my life, I was a gym rat. I went to the gym because I wanted to be skinny and have good muscle tone. I continued to workout because it made me feel good and gave me energy. When yoga popped onto my scene, movement took on a whole new depth and I found elements I never even knew were missing. A decade later, yoga is my career and continues to be my passion. Here’s why.

 

#1: The Super Sexy Factor

 

Yes, that’s right, yoga makes you super sexy, and it has nothing to do with being a contortionist. The deep internal work of lengthening and strengthening creates lean and flexible muscles that allow you to move with grace and fluidity. With increased ease of motion, you come to feel oh so good in your own body.

 

 

But the true sexiness reaches far beyond the physical plane. The practice of yoga shifts your focus inward, increasing your ability to be present and self-aware. Self-awareness is sexy! When you are present and aware in the world, your sense of compassion and gratitude for life expand. Gratitude leads to happiness, and there is nothing sexier than a happy person.

 

#2: Lighten Up!

 

 

Who wants to be frazzled, frantic, and stressed out? Not me! Yet I was all of those things most of the time when I reached adulthood. Then I discovered the power of slow deep breaths. Connecting breath with movement is a pivotal part of the practice in most schools of yoga. Taking time each day to focus on your breath creates a calming effect on your entire nervous system, helping you to play it cool even when the heat gets turned up.

 

Learning to breathe through difficulty and tuning into your body’s communication system are tools you can use in your life, decreasing reactivity and increasing patience. This helps you to feel more grounded and centered, and quite honestly to take life a little less seriously. Being playful, turning upside down, and trying new ways of moving your body keeps things fresh and interesting both in and out of the studio. It makes you a little less hesitant to try new things and comfortable with being a beginner. Your need to be perfect is replaced by the joy of curiosity. How magnetic!

24 Mid-Cartwheel

 

#3: Do What You Want, Not What You Should

 

You are a whole being. Every element of you is connected and impacts the other, body, mind, and soul. When you start to move mindfully, opening up areas that were blocked, releasing tension, and awakening muscles that were basically asleep, you free a current of energy that taps into a wealth of creativity and inspiration. This can bring you in touch with the deeper truth of who are and what you want to do in this lifetime. You glimpse your greatness and your highest potential can come into reality.

 

 

#4: The Gateway Drug to More Awesomeness

 

As you may have guessed, yoga is not just a physical practice for me. It is also a spiritual one and part of a larger lifestyle of self-care. Through yoga I was introduced to meditation, which is now an integral part of my daily existence. Not to mention extremely healthy and socially conscious eating habits and little to no desire to ingest intoxicants.

 

Once you start taking great care of yourself in one area, those habits expand to others, and the natural high feels so good that it bleeds into the rest of your life. I see it happen all the time with my students and private clients. Starting a dedicated yoga practice leads to further life transformations. This also happens to improve your relationships and your ability to surround yourself with nurturing, like-minded beings. How cool is that?

 

There is so much more, but these are the big ones. You might be wondering if I’m all of these things all of the time. Absolutely not. That’s why it’s called yoga practice. All of these elements are constantly in flux, being cultivated, expanding, moving in, up, out and through. But the point is, they are all present and accessible in a way they weren’t in my pre-yoga life.

 

Take Action Now:

1)    In the comments below, share any questions or hesitations you have around starting a yoga practice. Or if you already do yoga, what are some of the benefits it has brought to your life?

2)    Want to try it? I teach a Level I class on Tuesday evenings, 6:30pm, at Liberation Yoga. Come check it out! (first class at Liberation is FREE!)

 

Namaste,

Sasha

 

P.S. I wrote this article for Pure Natural Diva, an awesome site for ladies that like to keep it natural.

Published by Sasha Marie Stone

Happiness Engineer at Automattic, work-from-home wellness expert, life coach, and dog mom.

8 thoughts on “Not Your Doctor’s Checklist: The Top 4 Benefits of Doing Yoga

  1. What a great piece Sasha. You definitely hit on every reason I do yoga. It has absolutely changed my life and continues to do so every day, and it is because it is such a life raft for me in so many ways, that I teach. It is a powerful tool to allow you to step deeper into the beauty of your life, and who couldn’t use that kind of tool? Thank you for doing what you do. Love you girl and hope to see you again this year.

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  2. So Sasha, let me see if I get this right. Are you saying that if I continue practicing yoga I’ll be a pretty and sexy and healthy as you are? In other words, if I look in the mirror I’ll see you instead of me? If that’s the case, I’ll be standing in front of the mirror for the rest of my life and have no time to practice yoga. Just wonderin’. 🙂
    xxoo
    Stephen

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  3. You nailed it, Sasha! I read somewhere about a survey that revealed that women who practice yoga were happier with their bodies than women who did other forms of exercise – and that was certainly the case in my own experience. Does my body look better now? Who knows but it sure feels better. And yes, yoga was definitely a “gateway drug” for me too – the first step on a lifelong journey of self-care and spirituality.

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  4. Another great and inspiring share, Sasha. What you say is so true. Standing tall with light and joy in our hearts and breath in our lungs can be very sexy, attractive and permeate the environment. ♥

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