Have you ever wanted to be more mindful, flexible, and balanced? A regular yoga practice is an excellent way to achieve those goals. When done daily, yoga can help you become stronger, more relaxed, and more balanced in your life. When we want to go really deep to find out by direct experience, “what is yoga?,” we must take to daily practice.
I’m a firm believer in the ritualized daily practice. We face our own self in the mirror, every day, when it’s time to practice. Will we heed the call to train, or let inertia, and our lower drives win the mental tug of war between our different desires? By choosing to be congruent with our word, and follow through on our highest desire, we shape a positive self image. We develop true self confidence.
A person’s self-image plays a critical role in how they present themselves to the world. How we view ourselves shapes our identity and how we shape our identity shapes how the world sees us. If we view ourselves in a negative light, our behavior and actions may be seen as weak, lacking confidence, or unappealing which can affect both our personal and professional lives. Conversely, if we view ourselves in a positive light and have a strong sense of self-worth, we can present ourselves as confident and capable of achieving our goals and dreams. Ultimately, our self-image affects the way we interact with the world and can have a lasting impact on who we become.
Practicing yoga on a daily basis is an effective way to reduce stress levels. When we practice yoga, we focus on our breathing, allowing us to focus on the present moment and help us to de-stress. The deep breathing and mindful movements help to relax both the body and mind, helping us to be more relaxed and less reactive to the stressors of modern life. Ujjayi breathing has an even rhythm and is paired with asanas in Vinyasa Yoga. This equanimous breath, stabilizes the mind, and it’s mental modifications start to slow down.
Yoga postures are long term relationships. They are excellent for increasing flexibility in the body. By stretching and loosening the muscles, yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility in the joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments. Increased flexibility is an important part of any exercise routine, as it helps to prevent injury and adding mobility for the longevity game.
Life has a way of pulling us forward and down. Think of the position your spine is in while you pick up a toddler, send a text, wash the dishes, or cook your dinner. Poor posture is a common problem, affected by both exercise and lifestyle. Practicing yoga on a daily basis helps to improve posture by strengthening the muscles and joints, while adding a deep level of body awareness. This body awareness that we first develop on our mats and meditation cushions, can bleed into our everyday awareness as our consciousness begins to rise.
Standing postures, which help to improve posture and balance, are excellent for skeletal alignment.
Yoga Practice wipes the mirror clean, so that we can see our own reflection, clearly. This can bring peace of mind, and self acceptance. A Daily yoga practice also helps to calm the mind, allowing us to have greater focus. By being mindful of each movement, we can become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, helping us to gain a better understanding of ourselves.
Recent studies have found that a daily yoga practice may help to strengthen the immune system. The stretching and lengthening of the muscles can help to improve blood circulation, which can help to improve the body’s ability to fight off infection. Training creates a hormetic effect (mild stressor) to which we adapt and become stronger. This hormetic effect also turns on our longevity genes called sertuins. The yogi is always practicing healthy restriction, with choices like eating the right foods for their body and ingesting the correct amount of food. These behaviors promote a healthy gut microbiome and bestows the benefits of an activated and charged immune system, that is primed to for battle, healing and repair.
A regular yoga practice can help to improve physical and mental health, so always train in approximation of the steadiness that is required to get true insight. If you choose to practice yoga daily, be sure to listen to your body and make modifications if needed. Remember to start slowly and gradually build up your practice to avoid injury.
Slowly Slowly, all is coming.