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Ask yourself: Why aren’t I practicing yoga?

Whether you seek enlightenment, physical fitness, a mental challenge, or a way to relax, chances are there is a form of yoga tailored just for your needs. Yoga also provides a host of benefits to your complete well being. Below are the five main reasons to start a regular practice, though there are many more.

1. Stress? What stress?
The intense focus in yoga, accompanied by poses designed to stretch your body to its limit makes yoga a great stress reliever. After a hard day at work, an hour bending and twisting on the yoga mat can alleviate aching shoulders, provide a constructive way to work out aggression, and allow you to reconnect to yourself during the final relaxation period.

2. Total Body Conditioning and Recovery
The coveted “yoga butt” may not be the only reason for your practice, but it is a major benefit of yoga. Working with your body and against gravity, the poses provide gentle toning and definition to your limbs and help with posture and sleep. Don’t be surprised if you find your arm, stomach and leg muscles proudly displaying their new found contours after few weeks of regular classes.

3. Yoga Brings Your Sexy Back
One of the less touted benefits of a regular yoga practice is the benefits to your sex life. By learning to focus and isolate various parts of the body, the yogic postures can definitely be applied to more carnal activities. In addition to reaping the benefits of your solo practice, there is even partner yoga to help forge an even deeper connection.

4. Increasing Awareness and Mindfulness
The yoga lifestyle tends to wrap other causes in with your practice. Many yoginis are also vegetarians or vegans and most are environmentalists. This is rooted in the yogic ethical belief called ahimsa, which means non-harming or kindness. Other ethical beliefs (yamas) include truth, non-stealing, moderation/self-restraint, and non-attachment/self-reliance. Yoga also contains moral observances (called niyamas) which include the principles of clarity or purity, contentment, commitment/perseverance, study/education of one’s self, and surrender—normally to a higher power.

However, you do not need to get a degree in Eastern Philosophy and language to enjoy the benefits of yoga. Just taking the time to quiet your mind and attend a class can have tremendous effects on your mood.

5. Yoga Adapts to You
As yoga has spread around the globe, it has been interpreted and remixed so that everyone can derive a little something from the ancient ways. Are you looking for a modern twist on yoga which challenges you mentally and physically? Or maybe just looking to brush shoulders with celebrities like Russell Simmons? Then Jivamukti style yoga may be for you. Bored by Enya? Try a hip-hop yoga class. Feel like yoga isn’t for plus sized women? Think again and try a class catered to your glorious curves. Addicted to multitasking? Try a combination class, like yoga and pilates or yoga and spinning. Need the total exertion and release that comes from a full body workout? Try power yoga !

With the advent of the internet, online classes and DVDs allow anyone to practice in the comfort of their homes while most gyms and dance studios also offer guided yoga classes. So what are you waiting for? Begin your practice today and start reap the numerous benefits of a regular practice.

– Latoya Peterson

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One Comment

  1. totally unrelated… but I never look as cute as the girl in the picture when i do yoga. lol lipstick, turban, chain necklace. She’s fierce.

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