4 Reasons I Started Practicing Yoga, and Why You Should Too

1-- Peace of mind.

The human-constructed ideas of "productivity" and "efficiency" sure do wreak havoc on our minds sometimes, don't they? We feel guilty for not doing enough to look after ourselves, and then we feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Being in college makes this cycle of cognitive dissonance, oh, I don't know, 20x worse than usual. I look forward to my yoga class because for 1 hour and 45 minutes, I don’t think about deadlines or my future career success. My endless to-do list goes right out the window, and rather than checking my email or social media, I’m completely out of the loop (or as I've more accurately renamed it, the tornado). I'm able to drown out the chaos and get completely in-tune with myself. Fellow busy-bodies, I encourage you to find the peace your poor, overwhelmed spirits have been missing.

2-- I’m a former athlete.

If you've played sports in the past, you’re probably used to daily activity that focuses on your endurance, strength, and muscle flexibility. For example, it’s been 2 years since I stopped cheerleading, but I still feel like if I miss a day of stretching, I’ll turn to stone! You might not catch me out on the competition mat anymore, but my yoga mat has been a wonderful replacement. Not only does yoga challenge you in ways you wouldn't expect,(yes, that muscle can move in that direction, LOL!), is sure to improve your body awareness, concentration, and stamina.

3-- The gym environment sucks the life out of me.

What can I say?— Seeing rows of metal machinery just isn’t as energizing as a breezy, candlelit room, adorned with a shrine of greenery. For those who prefer a warm, welcoming place to work out, the scenic serenity of a yoga studio is exactly what you’re looking for. Die-hard gym rats and perpetual elevator-riders alike: Don't underestimate yoga's ability to lift your spirits (and make for a better post-workout pic).

4-- There’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re a soccer player looking to improve your strength, or just a stressed student in need of some quiet time, there is a yoga style for you. While trendy forms like aerial yoga are all the rave, my personal favorite is bikram (a routine-like style featuring various twists, bends, and postures). Check out this guide to choosing a style you’ll love. After you get the hang of it, you may not even need the help of an instructor anymore!

Once you find a form of yoga that you enjoy, the idea of involving your body, mind and soul in an exercise routine will truly give you purpose. With yoga, you’re working out for more than just a beach body!

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