Reasons Why You Should Be Doing Yoga

I've been practicing yoga for a while now and I'm at the point in my journey that I want to share with you reasons why I do yoga and why you should give it a go! Stick with me over the next few days while I make shapes and explain my passions for the practice and help persuade you that yoga is for anyone. Yes I do crazy poses but I have to emphasise it's not about the pose. All questions are welcomed. All I want to do is inspire and help promote a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Reason 1 - Physical Benefits

Improves flexibility
 Increased muscle and core strength
-  Increased energy levels
- Maintains a balanced metabolism
- Protects from injury and can prevent pain

Reason 2 - It's for anyone and everyone

 Anyone can do it. Anywhere. In anything. As you can see I do it every where, any time. 
You don't have to be a certain shape or size.
You don't have to be flexible, that's the whole point, you gain that flexibility.
You don't have to go to a class, although I'd recommend it if you've never done yoga before. There's so many videos out there that you can follow. 
All you need is yourself, you don't necessarily need a mat or those expensive leggings (although leggings are nice)
Yoga can simply be standing and focusing on your breath, it doesn't have to be balancing on one arm, bending over backwards, or splitting. 

You don't have to be 'fit' or 'bendy' 
Men can do it too and men do regularly go to classes. 
You don't have to wear Lycra, you can do yoga in anything... so if you're not so comfortable and confident wearing tight clothing, that's fine. Some people actually do naked yoga... yeah that's a thing! 
So you think you can't do it? Tell me why you think you can't?

Reason 3 - Mental Health

The mental benefits of the practice are astounding. 
You learn breathing techniques that you can transfer into every day life. Feeling a little stressed/overwhelmed? Bring your awareness to your breath, just like you do in your practice. 
I've started to realise the power of the breath. The breath is sometimes all you need to be at peace. 
If you want to read more and see how exactly yoga has helped me, I have a whole blog post on the mental benefits of yoga. 

Reason 4 - The sense of Community

It’s amazing how you can bring people together by just the breath and the body. It goes further than just having a common interest, although it’s pretty cool to be able to talk to someone about their first success in crow and maybe joke about their mula bandha, I do think that there’s a deeper, more spiritual connection that maybe some are just not aware of. There’s a reason you do yoga which may be completely different to the person beside you but there’s a huge comfort in that. You’ll never be alone on your mat. A yoga class is a special environment and I can only hope that you will experience that too. 
This one is rather relevant for me today after receiving kindness and support by a room full of yogis. (Namaste)

On the flip side too, standing in front of a class teaching and guiding people through a practice is such a wonderful feeling.
Plus being surrounded by the sound of the breath is so powerful.

Reason 5 - It's fun

You don’t have to take yourself too seriously.
You’ll have days when your balance is shot and you can’t touch your toes or even your shins. But that’s life. And it’s all about acceptance. Accepting where you are and knowing that it’s okay.
This picture I’ve posted shows it all. You’ve got to be okay with falling out of a pose, it’s how you learn. The great thing about falling is having that courage to try again. You can transfer these things to your life away from your mat. I guess as well what I love about this photo is my face, it’s human to be thinking ‘oh shit’ as you fall… I had someone in my class actually say that yesterday. And you know what? That’s fine. I like failing, it’s the only way you’re going to learn and totally appreciate something when you finally get there.
You know what else I love about this pose the way I’m standing scrunches up my side and gives me ‘rolls’ but I’m actually so happy with that. I have gained such confidence in myself and my body through doing yoga too. Your body does so much for you that you aren’t even aware of. There’s no such thing as a ‘yoga body’ and for that matter a perfect yoga pose. We are all unique, therefore my body doing a pose will look different to you doing that same pose. 
What I’m trying to say is A-N-Y-O-N-E can do yoga. Have fun and love your body.

How It Has Helped Me

The practice of yoga has helped me greatly. You may have seen the BBC interview I did not too long ago, if you have then you’ll understand that a couple of years ago my body was weak and poorly treated. Here’s a link to the video.
 My first yoga class, I was weak, I couldn’t hold the poses, I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t reach my toes BUT there was a part of me that found a little bit of peace in that hour and that was enough for me to want to go again the next week. I started going regularly and building up my practice. I became stronger, more flexible and felt more energetic than I had in a long time.

Lucy Steel

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