Taking a yoga class may not be a long-held dream you, but for a few new students who recently joined my classes, it was! They had been thinking about coming for a long time and finally did. So, why all the hype, and what’s so great about yoga anyway?
It’s kind of hard to explain, but some people might describe it as “magic”. For sure, there are lots of good, scientific explanations about the exercise benefits of yoga. Physically, it is fantastic, because you get stronger while lengthening your muscles instead of shortening them into bulky, tight balls. You gain flexibility, balance and stamina. And you might even like the way your muscles start to look after a while!
Science can also explain how the “fight or flight” stress response is tempered by the combination of breathing and movement for a 75-minute class. Physiological changes do take place in the body when deep breathing is done for a sustained period of time, and we like the data…cortisol levels drop, heart rates slow down, happy chemicals called endorphins start floating around the bloodstream and well, you feel better!
Some people say it makes them nicer, happier, and more aware of the role they play in a world that is much bigger than their close circle of friends and family. A connection to a greater community begins to grow.
But there is something else, something indescribable that also happens. Deep inside, we start to be different, in a good way. It’s as if some long-ignored, inner part of us starts to get nourished. It’s different for each person. The experience is special, and infinitely worthwhile.
It’s hard to say more, because, well, it really is sort of magical. If you have been curious about yoga, but stayed away because you felt you were not flexible, or didn’t think you were coordinated enough, reconsider. Yoga only requires an open mind and a willingness to try.
I invite you to come, move a bit, and see how you feel. Oh, and if yoga happens to be on your bucket list, make a nice, big checkmark next to it!