Yoga has a variety of benefits for those who practice-- no matter what age, level, strength or flexibility you may be.
The Benefits of Yoga
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration
- Improved digestion
- Reduced back pain and chronic pain
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Improved focus and mental acuity
- Improved energy
- Improved self and body awareness
Yoga Benefits at a Molecular Level
Yoga not only benefits our bodies emotionally, physically, and mentally, but also at a molecular level. MBIs (mind-body interventions) such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi can reverse the effects of stress and anxiety on our bodies by changing how our genes are expressed.
People who practice MBIs have a decreased production of NF-kB and cytokines, which leads to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene expression pattern and therefore reduces the risk of diseases and conditions caused by inflammation.
You can read more about this here.
A letter from our yoga teacher, Anna.
"Are you new to yoga and a bit worried about coming to class?
Stepping outside of your comfort zone is challenging for even the bravest of us. Trying new food, moving, changing your appearance or style are just a few examples.
Going to yoga can be equally daunting, especially when we aren’t sure what to expect or we have painted a certain picture of yoga in our minds that we feel we don’t quite match.
I often hear people say that they are too stiff to do yoga, can not sit still for so long, don’t have patience, can’t touch their toes, are afraid of passing gas during class, and much more.
I believe most of these fears are based on myths. In my (almost) 20 years of teaching, I have never come across anybody who is too tight.
Yes, there are plenty of people who cannot touch their toes, but yoga is not about touching your toes! If you can touch your toes, that just means you have loose and open hamstrings and can reach further down your leg. If you have tight hamstrings, you will benefit and get just as much as a stretch by touching your knees, and maybe eventually your yoga practice could open up your body enough to touch your toes. But that’s not the point.
The potential students who can not sit still don’t need to worry either. In general, we don’t sit still! We reach, stretch, strengthen, breathe, and sometimes we joke or talk.
At the end you get a few minutes to lay down in savasana (my kids called it “naptime” when they were younger) to fully relax and feel the difference in your body. This part can be hard in the beginning because we are culturally so wired that we feel that we should be doing something. But often there is a shift in people and they start to look forward to this part of their yoga class.
There are many different types of yoga, as well as different teaching styles. If you only take one yoga class and don’t like it-- that does NOT mean that yoga is not for you—it just means that you need to find a style and teacher that suits your needs the best. Try a few different styles of yoga, try different teachers, give it a chance.
Some of my students claim they can not live without it, others do it because they feel it helps their other sport, others come to class for the social aspect, for the physical benefit, the mental benefit, others feel they can sleep better, feel more energized, feel more relaxed etc.
My favorite reason one lady has been coming to class for the past 7 years is that she feels that: “Yoga is like eating broccoli. I don’t really like it but I know it is good for me”.
Hope to see you in class,