Everyone loves their yoga pants, but does everyone actually DO yoga in their yoga pants? And if not – why? Cause yoga is AMAZING!!
Comfy pants aside, yoga is a uniquely holistic movement experience, and therefore, offers an amazingly broad set of benefits.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuji,’ which means “union.” Appropriately, the practice is the union of physical movement, controlled breath, and disciplines of mindset. This combination of elements makes a regular yoga practice fertile ground for a wide array of benefits. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Physical Stuff:
We all know that movement is good for us. Any time we get off the couch or away from our desks and move our butts – Healthy Lifestyle, PLUS ONE. Sedentary Couch Potato, ZERO. There are a lot of different types of yoga. For more info on the various forms go HERE. Funky Buddha Yoga (hot power vinyasa), in particular, is an athletic form of yoga that provides a unique combo of STRENGTH + FLEXIBILITY. The “vinyasa” part of Hot Power Vinyasa refers to the fact that it is a moving form – we flow from one pose to another. This movement between static poses is particularly beneficial, as it mimics the functional movement that occurs in everyday life. If you are going to spend time getting stronger, why not get stronger in ways that help you in everyday movement? Sounds like a good plan, eh? We think so too.
At the Funky Buddha we like our yoga HOT. 95 degrees hot. There are a lot of reasons that we like a heated practice, but the one we like the most is the SWEAT. Getting sweaty is good for you. It increases heart rate, which increases blood flow, which moves lymph, which increases our body’s natural ability to detoxify itself. Regular sweating makes our body more responsive to changes the environment and increases our body’s ability to regulate temperature. Regular sweating helps to keep our skin and hair in a naturally good moisture balance. Oh, the benefits they just keep on coming!
With the pace of modern life – the hustle, the constant attachment to our phones, the barrage of media, ALL the things – there has never been a time when people have been more simultaneously desperately in need of genuine community connection AND starved for meaningful individual solitude. While these two ideas seem diametrically opposed, a yoga class offers a place where people can achieve BOTH in one experience. A regular yoga practice offers scheduled time with other like-minded-self-care-focused humans, and yet, your yoga mat and your physical practice is all your own – a little rectangle of solitude in the warmth (both literally & figuratively) of community.
The ability to use breath control to affect one’s physiology (ex: heart rate, blood pressure, hormone release) is one of the most important skills of meditation and biofeedback. A consistent yoga practice offers a unique opportunity to regularly practice these skills in a non-stressful environment. A regular 60-minute yoga class offers the opportunity for 60 FULL minutes of mindful breathing. When else during your day would you practice controlled breathing for 60 minutes???
Here is the SUPER great news. With enough practice (in yoga class), those skills of physiological control can be called upon when you really need them – in times of stress, anger, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Some dufus texting while driving cuts you off in traffic? As you feel the anger warming your body, a few deep breaths can actually CHANGE YOUR STRESS RESPONSE.
- Overwhelm at work making it difficult to make a decision? A couple minutes of quiet mindful breathing can reduce your cortisol levels and OXYGENATE your brain.
- So frustrated that you are about to lose your mind in an important meeting? A little internal self-talk and focusing on lengthening your exhales can get you BACK IN CONTROL.
We could spend all day listing the far-reaching benefits that a regular yoga practice can bring to your life, but the truth is that you need to dip a toe into the pool and give it a try for YOURSELF to really appreciate what yoga can bring to your life. Hopefully this little list has at least piqued your interest. Give it a try! See you on your mat.