3 Benefits of Practicing Yoga

By Bridgette Petrino | body

Aug 05

3 Benefits of Practicing Yoga

Not Your Typical Yogi

I used to stereotype people who practiced yoga as hippie/free-spirited/super-flexible people. But, once I learned that yoga was really just a form of meditation that also improves flexibility, strength, coordination and balance, I decided to give it a try.

I realized that the stereotype is wrong. People who practice yoga can be amazing athletes, people with back and joint pain who are looking for relief, and those simply wanting a good workout, just to name a few.

However, as much as I love practicing Yoga, I still say that I am not your typical yogi. I am pretty high maintenance. I love shoes, bags, beauty products and I can’t go on vacation with less than 27 suitcases… Don’t judge me.

Are you mindful or is your mind full?

Meditation was another practice that I stereotyped for a long time, but when my anxiety became unbearable, I gave it a shot because I was desperate. Meditating has helped me become more mindful and in turn my mind is less full. And, Yoga is another form of meditation.

If you have never tried meditation, you can check out How to Meditate: For Beginners.

3 Benefits of Practicing Yoga

  1. Improved Clarity: Like I mentioned before, Yoga is a form of meditation. Many of the balance poses require so much concentration that you are forced to be present. Your mind can’t wander, or you will wind up on the ground. So, yoga is a great way to reap the benefits of meditation if you find it difficult to be present, still and meditate in the traditional sense.
  2. Cardio & Circulatory Benefits: Disclaimer, I am not a doctor. But, even though you may not be moving much in your yoga practice, it’s not hard to get your heart pumping. Especially when you are doing inversions.
  3. Improved flexibility and strength: I never thought of Yoga as a good workout until I actually tried it. I always say that I am on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to exercise. I love high intensity workouts. And, I also love Yoga. I like to workout intensely 3-4 days per week and then do Yoga 1-2 days per week. This gives my muscles and joints a break, but I am still strengthening my body and taking care of myself. And, although these are low impact exercises, planks, push ups and inversions are amazing for core strength.

What Yoga is NOT

Yoga is not something where your ego can be present. It’s different from going to the gym and working your way up weight rack.

You might find it discouraging at first because one day you might have the ability to do some amazing difficult poses and you are feeling strong and flexible. Then, the next day you are falling over during the simplest poses.

The bottom line is that your body is dynamic, and yoga reminds us of that. The key is being mindful and not judging ourselves, but rather recognizing changes and being kind, gentle and compassionate to ourselves. Is that something that we ever take time to do? 

Getting started

Yoga is something that can be modified for all fitness levels, so when you are ready to try it you can find a great workout online or locate a class at a gym near you.

I want to know if you try it and what is your favorite pose? What is a pose that you are working on?

Personally, I’ve gotten really into inversions because they are fun, challenging and let’s be honest, they just look really cool.

If you are interested in trying inversions, here is a quick tutorial on how to get started with headstands.

PS – If you haven’t checked out the Renew Program yet, it is still in pre-order and the price will be increasing again soon. I have an entire module dedicated to caring for your body and I have included even more Yoga tips. We would love to have you join us for the 30 days!

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About the Author

Bridgette is Founder and CEO of Mommy Needs a Timeout. She empowers moms to reconnect with their identities OUTSIDE of being a mom, without the guilt.

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