Yoga is the poetry of movement. It helps you to push yourself, to slow down and be in the present. I really just do it so that I can polish my toenails. ~ Dr. Eng
Aside from polishing your toenails, what are the benefits? Yoga is a slow form of exercise done in silence. You’ll spend 60-90 minutes breathing, stretching and posing. You’ll have nothing to think about but how you are balancing and how your body feels. No cell phone, no laptop, no screens. This mindfulness has been shown to relieve stress, improve the mood, and lead to a happier life. While yoga isn’t the only mindfulness practice out there, it is one of the most common. Hot yoga adds to this by providing a very warm room to enhance sweating and blood flow.
It is also a form of light strength training and stretching. People who practice often go at least once a week and often more than that. This kind of focused stretching can be great for building sturdy yet flexible joints. Many yogis realize after a year or two of practice that they can move better than they could before they started. Improvements in balance, strength, and range of motion are all part of the benefits.
Lastly, a big part of yoga is a sense of community. Yoga is usually performed in a group. If you attend regularly you will make friends with a group in your class. This sense of fellowship is another reason yoga has caught on and continues to grow. Being part of a group with a shared purpose can bring unexpected joy to your life. That’s why you see all those pictures of sweaty yogis group together after a class on social media. Charlottesville has many wonderful yoga studies. If you’re wondering where or how to get started, email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to connect you with a studio.