7 Ways 30 Days of Yoga Has Helped Me
I told you awhile ago I started a 30-Day Yoga program. Well, I have! And I wanted to share the benefits that I found throughout this program. If you’re wondering, I used “Yoga with Adriene“–a down-to-earth goofy Texan lady who spreads good vibes. It’s a program of variety–one day you’ll work on breathing, the next on sun salutations, the next on Warrior poses. She keeps it fresh, interesting, and offers variations on each pose. If you know me, you know that flexibility is one of my weakest areas. So even though I’ve been doing yoga off and on for years, I’m still not close to an advanced level. My problem is keeping up with it! So how have 30 days of yoga helped me? Let me count the ways…
1. My back spasms stopped. Before the program, I would get back spasms sitting at work. This scared me and it’s what set me on the path to find the 30-day program in the first place. Well, with at least twenty minutes of yoga each day, the spasms have stopped! My hips used to also hurt during long periods of sitting and they feel looser and are less frequently painful. The slow stretches and time I’ve allowed my body to move in a way that it loves have released me from painful spasms. YAY!
2. I can almost touch my toes. Almost. I genetically have tight hamstrings so I’ve never been very flexible. However, if I stretch and do yoga frequently, I have had times in my life where I can indeed touch my toes. Through doing this practice, I’m almost there! I know this sounds rather commonplace, but this is very exciting for me! Being able to touch my toes would be a huge step for me in my flexibility training. So close!
3. I can read my body better. It’s easy to get out of tune with your body, even if you do exercise regularly. By doing yoga, slow stretches, deep postures, and breathing work, I’ve been able to sense what’s going in my body a little better. I know when certain body parts need rest, when certain joints are weak, and when I need to sit down and stretch. This may sound like a small benefit, but it can really prove invaluable. If I know to rest an ankle instead of pushing it, I may have just saved myself from an injury. That injury could put me off my game for weeks! Small perceptions can save you!
4. My core is getting stronger. YAY! If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that the only summer goal I missed had to do with my core strength! As we learn to be mindful of our body, we are able to draw in our core and become stronger. It’s not just during plank poses or crunches that you’re developing your core–it’s during flat-top or warrior poses that you’re truly finding strength there. I notice it in everyday life; I draw in my core, brace, and feel strong. This can only get better!
5. I sit up straighter. This is a problem I know a lot of us have in our modern bent-over postures. Despite my bad posture, I’m doing better at constantly correcting myself. I use my core techniques instead of being lazy–I square my shoulders, raise my neck, and keep a strong lower back. This, of course, makes us stronger in the long end and prevents us from getting some nasty permanent postures down the road. All in all, it’s healthier.
6. My focus has improved. It is so easy to get distracted in this world. Even at the beginning of my yoga sessions, my mind is wandering and bouncing this way and that. Practicing yoga has helped me center my mind to one degree or another and attempt at focusing, even if it’s just for a longer moment in that day. This then translates to my days at work and at night, trying to get things done.
7. My perspective gets refreshed. It doesn’t take much to get down-trodden and view your life as one seamless trudging line you feel like you can’t deviate from. However, with meditation and yoga, you’re able to get another perspective. You find something bigger than yourself and you realize that so many paths are available to you. That you can smile here for a reason and go on the next day even better.
If you haven’t tried a 30-day yoga program, I highly encourage you to do so, if this post hasn’t convinced you yet. You may even find different benefits than the ones I listed! I’m so happy to have restarted my yoga practice and look forward to continuing it. It makes me a happier, stronger, more flexible person. Practice yoga to stay hungry and fit!
*Question of the Day: What is the top benefit YOU get from yoga?
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