Has there been a moment where you had the thought “Omg, I can’t even touch my toes anymore!” It’s not necessarily that your weight has increased, but somehow you can clearly see that there is a substantial difference between how flexible you were a few years ago and how flexible you are today.
Yoga can increase range of motion, improve flexibility and just make you feel more agile and at ease. Many people get discouraged because they can barely do any of the postures no matter how many yoga classes they take. It’s a common misconception that one must be naturally flexible to practice yoga. Not many people know that yoga can transform not just your body but your life.
The yogic sciences are unique in a way that each person can find a yoga practice that fits their individual needs. Practicing yoga does not need commonly used props like blocks, straps, bolsters, sandbags, wedges, yoga walls to compensate for flexibility. The intention is to get into the poses as best as you can and work yourself to get to the perfect posture with practice. With each day of practice, step by step, helps you get a little further into the posture. This way, naturally, the body slowly becomes more and more flexible.
What people normally learn in yoga class is just the physical aspect. It’s getting on your mat, touching your toes, sweating a little bit, you know the deal. For some people, it’s certainly hard to understand the difference between yoga and the stretching you do after a run or before playing a sport. There’s a whole lot more than lengthening your muscles or toning up your structure.
In yoga, when we stretch muscles in new and interesting ways, they will adapt by becoming more flexible in those ways. As a result, one can find more flexibility in ways that they never imagined. Yoga incorporates alignment, strength, balance and breath. Hence bringing awareness to the whole system; body, mind and being.
Yoga puts a strong emphasis on breath. This obviously helps with relaxation, but what many people don’t realise is that focus on the breathing, doing it in a specific way while going into and out of a posture, can help get deeper into the posture. This constant focus on inhaling and exhaling helps you to pay more attention to how far your body can stretch, so that you don’t overstretch.
Practicing classical yoga practices can bring a sense of calm and well-being, focus, contentment and a boost of fitness. The best way to see if its working for you is to ask how you feel about yourself? how has your experience of life changed? If you feel better practicing yoga and find more ease with each day of practice then its working.
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