Tags: Big Y, Living Well Eating Smart, Nutrition, Yoga, Flexibility, Strong, Work Out

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Yoga: More than Flexibility

Yoga

Many people believe yoga can only be done by those that are strong and flexible. There’s nothing further from the truth.

Yoga’s definition is to bring together- to yoke. You land in a yoga practice when you come back to yourself, your mind…not when you can do the perfect shoulder stand.

With strengthening and increasing your body’s flexibility secondary, yoga’s power is in the ability to strengthen your emotional mind by inviting you to become present when you’re on the mat.

By inviting you to go within, to reflect upon how you are feeling, research shows yoga can help relieve stress and create a greater sense of calmness. Additionally, it has been shown to benefit chronic conditions such as lower back pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit, hyperactivity and depression.

The first step is to simply meet yourself on the mat. Don’t worry, this step may feel like the hardest of all these days, even for the most seasoned yogis. Simply arriving on the mat gives you the opportunity to stop and listen to what you’re feeling. Are you anxious? Feeling lonely or frustrated?

Once you give yourself the space to sit and listen to your truth, you learn you will survive these difficult feelings and feel much more inclined to let go of them. In turn, your mental and physical health may benefit.

To begin a yoga practice, start slow and consider taking a beginner gentle yoga class online from reputable organizations like Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA or a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher.