When I started yoga, I thought yoga practice was all about flexibility. Boy, was I wrong! And yes, Yoga does help tone your external muscles, but I’m really talking about internal power. Deep core strength, that just comes along with yoga. I’m talking about mindfully practicing yoga, and engagement of muscles. For instance, stand up, and find warrior 2. Front leg bends, arms stretched front to back, back leg straight. Warrior 2 is extremely beneficial for your knees, but only if you engage in this manner; with your front knee bent, try to “pick” up that foot. You will feel all the muscles surrounding the knee cap (the ones responsible for knee health) engage, where as before, there was no engagement. Along with the quadriceps engaging you will also feel this in your core.
Not only will yoga make you strong, it gives you fortitude. Over time, yoga practice will help you say “No” to drinking alcohol everyday, or any other addiction. Yoga practice helps you from overeating. Your body can no longer continue destructive behaviors of the past. Why? I believe that after practicing yoga you begin to love yourself, quite possibly when you haven’t loved yourself ever. As I slumped through my day before yoga, hardly giving my physical body a thought, now I take care of it, like a parent loving their baby. I marvel at the deep sense of peace within me, and I thank my body for being open and strong, everyday. My spirit soars when I flip upside down, twirl around, and act like a monkey in aerial hammock.
Yoga has also given me the strength to be a better partner. To hold my tongue, when it wants to talk to my husband in a harsh voice. The strength to be a better parent, a better listener, a better friend, and mom. In fact, I would challenge you to find one area in my life that has not improved since the taking yoga everyday. In short, yoga has made me better in all ways, and I can’t wait to share this will all of you.
See you on the mat,