women doing yoga

by: Vanessa Le

“I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible” is something I hear far too often. If you’re thinking to yourself that you have said that once before, it is the exact reason why you should start practicing yoga. The beautiful thing about this practice is that you don’t have to be “ready” for it or already flexible, it is very much about just starting and embracing the journey. Surprise! It actually is not required that you are a kombucha- drinking, vegan hippy that shops at the farmers market to start incorporating yoga into your everyday life! Yoga welcomes complete beginners. Of course, practicing yoga consistently will transform your physical self but yoga has the power to shift your mental self as well.
First off, it may be a bit difficult initially depending on your fitness and mobility level, however, there are always modifications and various levels of classes available. When I first started yoga, I was a weightlifting, gym junkie with very tight hamstrings and now I can touch my toes! Yoga has been proven to lessen chronic pain and arthritis, improve flexibility, and increase muscle strength and vitality. If you are new to working out, starting a yoga practice is a great place to start.
After your first class, it may just feel like an hour of stretching but it starts to grow into something deeper over time. Not only is yoga a physical practice, but a spiritual one as well. Yoga, in hand with meditation, has taught me the significance of presence and acceptance. Now, when it comes to meditation you may be wondering, “How do I even do that?” Meditation was something I used to be totally afraid of. It actually is very simple: you sit, you breathe, and when a thought comes floating into your mind, you acknowledge it and say goodbye to it. You focus on your body and breath in the present
moment. In our fast-paced world today, most of us are never truly in the moment. Whether it’s work, school or just simply thinking about our ongoing to-do list, our minds are elsewhere. If you let it, yoga has the potential to give you peace of mind. Apart from the physical benefits, yoga has a reputation for mental benefits as well such as reduced stress, a positive outlook on life, mental clarity and simply just feeling happier. For the health benefits alone, yoga is a must try! So, put down your phones, grab a mat and head to your local yoga studio or discover a free yoga class via YouTube. The possibilities are endless. Namaste.