Since yoga is a mind-body discipline that impacts not only your body but also your attitude, it tends to have positive impacts way beyond the physical.
Today I want to share with you the many ways that yoga can and does impact life for the better when you commit fully to it.
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can be as gentle or as strenuous as one needs it to be and so it can fit the requirements of beginners, older people, those with physical limitations, children, pregnant women and new mothers. So unlike certain sport or physical activities that may be unsuitable for many, yoga is suitable for most.
Yoga can be gentle but also very demanding. It can get progressively more difficult and hence can continue to challenge and excite the yogi even as they delve deeper to tap into their own physical abilities.
Yoga tones the body, makes it supple and more flexible and improves balance. As you progress with your yoga practice it can be exhilarating to be able to do more, go further and perform more difficult aasans to reap even more benefits.
When done consistently and buttressed by the right lifestyle and diet modifications, yoga brings about significant and sustainable weight loss as well.
The Mental Benefits of Yoga
The first thing that I have seen practitioners of yoga develop is a sense of calm and greater patience; a certain ability to commit to the here and now. When coupled with meditation, yoga is seen to have startlingly noticeable impacts. The practice of yoga can be so calming for the mind that I see some of my students look forward to their classes as a place where they can relax and rejuvenate.
Yoga and meditation not only relieve the mind of the daily stresses and irritations, they give one the strength to overcome them. As one performs some of the more difficult aspects of hatha yoga, a certain strength of purpose and the latent determination of one’s personality comes to the fore.
As one resolves to get better at yoga, this can improve concentration and reflect positively in other aspects of one’s life, their relationships, professional spheres, education etc.
Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
Then there is the spiritual growth that yoga can bring about. As we look within more, there is a greater acceptance of the self and an unimpeded connection forged with the life force itself. You will find that you can become a bigger person, able to let go of the petty grudges, the ill-will and the envy.
Self acceptance and self-love can be valuable spiritual takeaways and can lead to improved emotional quotient so that you are gentler, more giving and more embracing in your relationships as well.
Sashi Sarda teaches a combination of Ashtanga, Iyengar & Hatha yoga techniques through Yoga Central in Bandra west, Mumbai. She would like to extend special thanks to Sarika Periwal for helping put her thoughts into words for this article.