Practice Yoga and Be Free
The title of this blog is so apropos towards the multi-faceted benefits of yoga. I will not speak about what I have read pertaining to this subject, I will only speak about my experience. So, when reading this you will know how a yoga practice has affected someone and, therefore, there’s a good chance you will get a similar effect.
Before moving forward with this article I want to clarify that the effects I will speak about will come from in-person studio classes and online classes pretty much equally. There seems to be some wrong assumptions that online classes are less potent. There are certainly benefits to in-studio classes or a yoga practice at home with an instructor (as in a private lesson,) yet there are equal unique benefits to online classes. Yet, the main important benefits are equal. Obviously, all of this is dependent on the quality of instruction.
You do not need to have an advanced yoga practice to start benefitting immediately so don’t worry about your experience level--we all need to start somewhere and benefits will come immediately. Actually, the word “advanced” is misleading. The correct word should be a “mature” practice.
Now, pertaining to the title of this blog, one of the main physical benefits of this practice is the freedom you experience. The lengthening of the tissues (muscles and connective tissues) truly gives one a feeling of freedom and it is an amazing feeling. Consider that all heaviness comes from the density of an object and the tension one holds in their tissues from stress and other causes creates a contraction of the tissues and this contraction formulates tissue density. You may not notice the little tension you are accumulating, so over time you accumulate more and more and you unwittingly little by little become accustomed to this tension. In other words, it feels natural to be carrying the tension you have because it has built up so slowly. As you stretch and release this tension, you experience a lightness you had long forgotten about. This comes from a daily yoga practice or even once or twice a week, and it also comes from many different types of yoga practices as there are many physical varieties that accomplish this. This lightness translates into a physical feeling of freedom as you are carrying less tension and associated heaviness. Also, your range of motion increases giving you another feeling of freedom and, lastly, the bones move more freely within their corresponding joints and the joints move more freely themselves creating more feelings of freedom.
How often should you practice yoga to get these benefits? You will experience these benefits after any practice but they will fade so a regular practice is optimal. This feeling of freedom is a big part of the motivation or reason people come back to class, it really is amazing! So get your butt to a class online or in-person and learn how to practice yoga and get some of these benefits. You could say these are the hidden aspects of fitness as these benefits don’t affect you aesthetically, so people don’t normally indulge even though it’s so obvious you could never enjoy how good you look if you don’t feel good. And, if you feel good you don’t even need to look good because you already feel good and that’s why everyone is trying to look good!
Now, you might ask: “How do I start practicing yoga?” As I said above, just get to any class and you will begin the process! From here, try as much as possible and you will start learning what you like and don’t like and you will develop a personal practice. Good luck!