Although there are an estimated 22 million people practicing yoga today, a large number of Americanâ€™s have yet to give it a whirl. If you are in need of a little coaxing to join a yoga class, check out the following reasons why making it your New Yearâ€™s resolution might be of benefit to your health and happiness.
You will learn more about yourself
You might be 60 years old and seemingly privy to all of your nuances and inner workings, but there will always be just a little bit more about yourself you can learn.
The word yoga means â€˜to yokâ€™ or â€˜to join.â€™ The true purpose of yoga is to unite mind, body and spirit. In the process of this yoking, we discover parts of ourselves that we had no idea existed. This awakening is worth the effort, and it is what makes yoga so much more than just exercise and stretching.
You will get better at overcoming stressful situations
Everyone knows that yoga helps combat stress, but few understand how and why it works to make us feel so relaxed and at ease.
Yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that allows the body to return to a relaxed state after encountering a stressful situation. When you practice yoga, your body more readily activates the parasympathetic nervous system permitting a quicker return to â€˜normalâ€™ verses holding on so tightly to the stress and the ill effects of stress.
You will experience real and lasting joy
Money canâ€™t really buy happiness, but investing in your yoga practice can make your heart sing.
The reasons why yoga has such an impact on our mood will be perpetually under investigation. We know yoga releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones, but scientists have not yet fully determined why yoga makes so many people feel ecstatic.
According to Patanjali, the creator of the Yoga Sutras, there are eight parts that make up the whole of yoga. The eighth and final part is called Samadhi, otherwise known as bliss. For centuries, yogis have been using yoga not just for spiritual development, but also to experience a high level of peace and happiness.
If these thoughtful reasons arenâ€™t enough to help you with your decision to take up yoga in the coming year, why not try just one class and see how it goes? You might be surprised by how good it will make you feel.
January 1st, 2013