The practice of yoga has become very popular in the last years. According to a leading guru in India, over two billion people practice yoga worldwide. Meaning that almost a quarter of the world’s population is practicing this ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice. It’s amazing how many people are partaking in this beautiful form of change. Therefore, a common question is why? What is so appealing about the practice of yoga?
It’s because yoga can transform not only your body, but your life as well. Everyone who practices yoga has felt the transformative power of the practice in one way or another. Maybe you just feel more relaxed or maybe you have felt more profound changes in your life. You can feel the transformative power even after just one yoga class and you can noticeably feel the changes in your life after years of practice.
Physically, yoga changes your body in many ways. After a yoga class, you can notice that you feel more relaxed, lowering your stress levels. You will also feel generally more flexible in your overall body. Even your brain will functionally improve after a yoga class, boosting your focus and memory. In a University of Illinois study, participants performed significantly better on brain function tests after yoga, as compared to their performance after 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise. Meaning that yoga has transformative powers not just on the physical body, but on the mental body as well. It has a different effect on the mind than a regular aerobic workout.
After a few months of practice, you will have an improved sense of balance, lower blood pressure and less anxiety. Many adult practitioners who suffer from chronic back and neck pain have said that yoga has reduced the intensity of that pain and has improved their overall mood, more so than the standard medical treatments that they had been used to. Yoga also helps women connect more to their bodies and as a result, improves their general sexual function and satisfaction. After years of practice, yoga improves the bone density among older adults, provides a healthy weight and also lowers the risk of heart disease.
Yoga doesn’t change you into a better person, in better words, it removes obstacles to help you express your true nature. Yoga starts and encourages a healthy transformation by shifting patterns that you have developed over time. When you put your body into a new shape, you learn how to take a new shape with the mind. When you practice asana properly, it shows you that you can accomplish things you never could. It shows you that everything is possible and this changes the way you think in your mind, not only through yoga but that everything- even in your everyday life is possible.
At the end of your practice, as you are lying in Savasana, after all your hard work, that sense of joy and freedom that you feel is an expression of your true nature. This feeling shows you what is possible. Through yoga, many have found the strength, confidence and discipline to change their lives for the better.
We hope that you also can find your own path through yoga. May you also feel a healthy and positive transformation through your daily practice and join the growing world population of yoga practitioners. <3