So you’ve decided to start practising yoga? the question is how often do you get on the mat? and what happens if you practise daily? An everyday gentle yoga practice will benefit your mind. body and soul. Daily yoga can also help restore balance in your body, improve your immune system and boost your ability to feel self-love. Yoga Teacher Ashley unpacks ten things you’ll notice when you begin practising yoga daily…
1. You will have an improved immunity.
The main thing occurring during a yoga practice is conscious breathing, which helps to relax you, decreasing the release of stress hormones in your body, and also increasing blood flow throughout the body, allowing your organs to essentially do their job. If you want to focus on improving immunity through your yoga practice, try to maintain steady breathing while flowing through the postures, primarily through the nose, which ensures filtering out more toxins than breathing through the mouth. Chest opening postures, such as upward-facing dog and forward folds with chest expansion, will increase the body’s ability to take in more oxygen as well as release more waste from the lungs.
2. You will be less prone to injury
Some of the most commonly complained about parts of the body, such as the lower back, neck, and knees, all involve joints that are protected by tendons and ligaments. Yoga is one of the few exercises that focuses on strengthening these delicate areas of the body, resulting in a stronger body overall. The body becomes stronger and more flexible, helping to protect you from injuring yourself both in your everyday life and in your other athletic endeavors. Plus, since we learn how to move in the “right” way during our yoga practice, we also learn how to not move when we are off the mat.
3. You will feel less pain and suffer from less inflammation
Because yoga will strengthen areas of the body where you struggle with pain, such as in your lower back or neck, you will have less “bad” days. You will also learn how to sooth these parts of the body when you are having a bad day. Child’s pose is an excellent posture for any level of practitioner to relax the spine and ease tense back muscles so that you can move on with your day.
When we stretch out the areas around our joints, the body is able to release toxins that may by accumulating, leading to less inflammation.Yoga Teacher, Ashley Archambault on practising Yoga daily.
If you suffer from pain or swelling in your wrists and ankles for example, try incorporating simple hand and foot rotations into your practice; this will soothe, heal, and strengthen these heavily worked parts of your body.
4. You will have improved digestion and metabolism
If you have problems with digestion in any way, there are certain postures that focus on your gut health. Twisting postures are designed to squeeze and massage the organs in our midsection so that they can function more effectively. There are more relaxed twists, such as seated or on your back, but you can also incorporate twists into your runner’s lunge and even in chair pose. Research shows that our gut health is imperative in regulating some of our body’s most important functions, including immunity, hormone production and metabolism.
5. You will be less tense, both physically and mentally
Yoga will relax your body’s muscles and relax your mind. You do not have to sit in one spot in order to meditate. For anyone that has trouble sitting still or “quieting” the mind, opting to meditate throughout your posture flow is exactly what the asanas were designed for. A good way to ease into the mental side of yoga is in the Warrior II pose; look forward out over your front hand at the future, and then back out over your back hand at the past. Then return to center and know that that is where you are: right here, right now, no more and no less.
6. You will have more energy
Emotional stress is draining and lots of sedentary days lead to inactive lifestyles. Becoming more physically fit through your yoga practice will lead to an overall feeling of wellness and a natural boost in energy levels.
Simply flowing through sun salutations just ten minutes at the start of your day will help you to wake up and feel more motivated to pursue your goals.Ashley Archambault, Yoga Teacher
7. You will have a more positive body image
Yoga is called a practice because it all about embracing where you are at the moment, both on the mat and in your life.
As you learn how to respect where you are in your journey, you will also learn how to appreciate your body for what it can do, rather than fixating on how you should look.Yoga Teacher, Ashley Archambault
In the privacy of your home, practice doing some yoga without worrying about not being able to touch your toes or how your tummy looks peeking out of your shirt.
8. You will gain perspective
As you become more in tune with your thoughts while flowing through the postures, many of your worries will become manageable. To test this out, try a balancing posture, such as the tree pose; when you feel balanced, think of something that is upsetting you right now, and you’ll quickly begin to wobble. Nothing is so important that it deserves losing your own sense of well-being over. When maintaining a calm mind, solutions to our problems become more obvious.
9. It will become more natural for you to “be in the moment”
As you become a regular practitioner and less of a beginner or dabbler in yoga, you will find that you are able to truly exist in the moment more often, without worrying about what’s to come or fixating on what has already happened. You’ll be surprised at the things you have been overlooking when you have been living in your thoughts.
10. You will learn how to love
Yoga teaches us how to listen to our bodies for signals designed to protect us, listen to our thoughts for a better understanding of ourselves, and be kind to ourselves for where we are in our lives right now. Not only do all of these things equate to self-love, but you may notice that you are more loving towards other people around you, whether it’s towards other students in your yoga class, strangers you encounter on your outings, or those you are closest to. As you begin to recognise what self-love is, it becomes evident that it is true what they say: you must love yourself in order to love others.
So, what do you think? are you tempted to get on the mat a little more?