Yoga has the ability to heal us, strengthen us, challenge us and break us down, make us happier, increase our sense of gratitude, make us more flexible and increase our overall health, ground us and root us. It’s magical and peaceful, yet can also kick your booty and leave you feeling stronger and sweatier than when you showed up.
There are so many reasons why yoga is such an incredible tool for us, and so many reasons why you should consider incorporating it into your exercise regimen throughout the week.
Let’s talk about mental health. First and foremost, yoga has the ability to help you slow down, concentrate, be mindful and live in the present movement. Do you ever notice how great you feel after a yoga class? There’s got to be something to this, right?
According to Yoga Journal, the practice moves you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system, or from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. With yoga, you enter a more relaxed state and start breathing more deeply and slowly. Your nervous system calms down and you start to feel less anxious, and instead, happier.
With less anxiety, better stress management and a happier attitude, your relationships benefit, productivity at work increases, cortisol levels decrease and sense of self improve. It starts to become easier to slow down, observe, breathe and make clearer decisions.
In addition to helping to improve your mental state, yoga has a variety of positive effects on your physical health. It improves your flexibility, builds muscle, helps to improve posture, protects your spine, prevents cartilage and joint breakdown and increases your blood flow. Also, as you contract and stretch your muscles during a yoga practice, you move organs around and increase the drainage of the lymphatic system. This helps your body to fight infection, detox properly and destroy cancerous cells! Not to forget, yoga is exercise, which your heart and body always benefit from.
Although the benefits of yoga are immeasurable on an individual level, did you know that yoga can also benefit your relationships and sex life? You heard me correctly. Yoga and sex actually have quite a few things in common.
According to Heather Simonson, a New York sex therapist and yoga instructor, “yoga means unity of the mind, body, and breath. In sex we are using our bodies, but oftentimes don’t use the mind or the breath,” she says. “Yet we should be. Tuning into both can help you better connect to the sensations you’re experiencing, as well as connect to the person you’re in bed with.”
Because yoga improves flexibility, fosters body acceptance and helps improve mobility within the pelvic region, the practice can greatly benefit your sex life and add a lot of dynamic to it! Furthermore, yoga keeps you in the present moment, which is incredibly important for our relationships, conversations, sex life and more.