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8 Amazing Benefits I Realised After Doing Yoga Every Day

8 Amazing Benefits I Realised After Doing Yoga Every Day

For me, practicing yoga has always been a bit like going to church — I don’t always want to go, but I am always glad when I do it. However, recently I made the decision to practice yoga every day. It’s been very rewarding. There are numerous benefits when it comes to doing yoga, but in this post I’ll share eight that I think will persuade you to give it a try.

1. Builds my confidence.

According to Shape magazine, “Confidence feels great on everyone: It makes you feel good, and it makes those around you feel comfortable.”

The article goes on to illustrate 10 yoga poses that will help boost one’s confidence. The first few poses are for beginners and the last few poses are for more advanced yogis. We all have times in our lives where we need an extra shot of confidence.

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2. It can be done anywhere.

Yoga can be practiced anywhere. Sure it’s nice to have our own mats and be in a yoga class or in the comfort of our own homes, but yoga can be done wherever we are. I have seen YouTube videos for yoga while traveling, yoga at your desk, yoga at the beach, etc. I enjoy doing videos so I can do a whole practice, but now that I have done enough of them, I can do my own practice anywhere. I don’t need electronics, a mat, or a teacher.

3. I learn to breathe.

An article from health and yoga states that there are tangible benefits from learning and using the full yogic breath. The benefits include:

  • Releases acute and chronic muscular tensions around the heart and digestive organs.
  • Helps sufferers of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and emphysema to overcome the fear of shortness of breath. It actually increases lung capacity.
  • Encourages proper nervous stimulus to the cardiovascular system.
  • Dramatically reduces emotional and nervous anxiety.
  • Improves detoxification through increased exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
  • Amplifies the autoimmune system by increasing the distribution of energy to the endocrine system.
  • Calms the mind and creates mental/physical balance.

4. I become aware of my posture.

Since I have been doing yoga, my posture has improved immensely. Every pose and action I have done while practicing yoga has taught me to stand up tall and align my head over heart and heart over pelvis. Even while sitting, I will notice when I am slumping and I will correct it. I have also noticed when I correct my posture my breath deepens and has much better flow.

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5. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

I have never actually paid to do yoga. First, a friend gave me her yoga mat that she never used and then my sister bought me a new yoga mat. I wear clothes I already have: usually sports bra, tank top, and yoga capri pants. I don’t drive anywhere. I usually practice yoga in my house. I have never paid for a class. I have attended free classes occasionally. However, I usually follow along with Yoga With Adriene. There are a lot of good videos out there, but she is my favorite teacher. Her videos are free and they have a wide range of choices: beginner, toning, stretching, confidence boosting, morning and evening routines, etc.

6. I become more mindful.

While doing yoga, I learn to live in the moment. When I first started practicing yoga, I was tempted to rush and often felt impatient. I would also check the time a lot. I kept checking to see how much of the video was left. As I have continued my journey with yoga, I have learned to slow down my mind. I focus on my breath and the movement. Sometimes, I am not moving at all but am in a still position and just focusing on my breath. It’s wonderful. To be able to slow down my mind and focus on one thing at a time is beneficial in all areas of my life.

7. I become leaner and stronger.

I noticed right away when I started doing yoga that the practice uses a lot of one’s own weight as resistance. For example, if you are doing a plank or downward dog, you are holding up your own weight. It’s gotten much easier the more I do it because I am getting stronger. I also feel leaner and my clothes are a little looser. According to Health, if you are looking to be lean and look terrific, there is no quicker way to achieve this than through a regular yoga routine.

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8. Yoga helps relieve stress

Prevention states, “During periods of transition, the holidays, or anytime life starts to get a little complicated, a quick yoga break (even just 10 minutes, if that’s all you have) can take the edge off.”

I can tell you from personal experience that yoga absolutely does reduce stress. I can usually feel stress manifest itself in my shoulders. It’s amazing to me how just one yoga practice can release the stress in my shoulders. I find myself mentally lighter and physically more relaxed.

Yoga is wonderful for so many reasons. There are many more benefits than the ones I listed above. If you haven’t tried yoga before, please do. There are practices as short as 10 minutes. If you have tried it before, please try to do it more consistently. I am, and the benefits I continue to see are completely worth it.

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Featured photo credit: Lushlifegarden.com via flickr.com

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Tomi Rues

Adjunct college teacher, notebook/journal designer, author

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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