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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 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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