A few months ago, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried yoga for the first time.  I was surprised to find that I love yoga.  Yoga is awesome, and you should try it too.  Here’s why.

Yoga is nonjudgmental and not competitive.

The first time I tried yoga, I was super nervous that I would be bad at it and would make a fool of myself.  I was pretty bad at it (I still am!), but no one cared.  It’s a nonjudgmental and noncompetitive atmosphere.  As one of my yoga instructors said, it doesn’t matter whether or not you can do every pose.

Yoga encourages you to push yourself, but at the same time, to know your limits.

Every time I do yoga, I find it challenging.  I always push myself to try harder, but at the same time, I know there are certain poses I just can’t do yet – and that’s okay.  Yoga instructors encourage you to do the best you can.  Most people aren’t extremely flexible to begin with.  The more you practice, the more you will be able to do.  It’s all about doing what you can and improving over time.

Yoga can be done for free.

Over the past four months, I’ve done yoga 25 times and I haven’t paid for it once.  How?  I am fortunate to work for a company that offers free gym memberships.  I know that many people don’t have this available to them.  I have attended free yoga classes in several other ways as well.  Our local yoga studio offers a free one week trial.  The studio also occasionally offers a free day of yoga even after your free trial has ended.  Nonprofit groups also offer free outdoor yoga classes.  Many encourage a donation but do not require it.

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At a free outdoor yoga class sponsored by a nonprofit group.

Now that the hubby and I have attended numerous yoga classes and know many of the poses, we also do free yoga at home.  All we do is find some relaxing music on YouTube, get out our yoga mats, and make up our own routine.  If you don’t have the basic poses down yet, you can find routines on YouTube videos and follow along.

Yoga is relaxing and helps with anxiety.

Exercise can be fun, but it usually isn’t relaxing.  This is what I love most about yoga.  Not only do you stretch and get an awesome workout, but yoga is also calming and reduces anxiety.

Yoga gets you to focus on your breathing.

Part of what makes yoga so relaxing is that it forces you to focus on your breathing.  The first couple of times I did yoga, I found it very difficult because I wasn’t used to focusing on my breathing.  Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I find the breathing practices helpful outside of yoga.  Whenever I’m feeling anxious or if I’m feeling out of breath during a workout, I remind myself to focus on my breathing and take slow, deep breaths.  It always helps!

Yoga makes you more flexible.

Every time I stretch before or after a workout, I’m amazed by how far I can stretch now.  Yoga has really made stretching easier!

Yoga gives you more balance.

I’m a very klutzy person and I don’t have much sense of balance.  This is still an issue for me, but yoga has helped.

You can wear yoga pants and no one judges you for it.

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I <3 yoga pants!

 Afterward, you feel amazing mentally and physically.

I’m a neurotic, type-A person who is always thinking in to-do lists.  Yoga forces me to slow myself down.  After yoga, I feel calm, centered, and refreshed (mentally and physically).

What do you like most about yoga?

 

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