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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 February 25, 2020

Face Adversity with a Smile

Face Adversity with a Smile

I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.

My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.

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Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.

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Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:

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  1. Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
  2. Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
  3. Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
  4. Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
  5. Smile and get cracking.

The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.

Featured photo credit: Jamie Brown via unsplash.com

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