All anyone can talk about now a days are the wellness holy grails; Kale, Kombucha, Açai bowls, and the restorative powers of Yoga. And although yoga has been on the lips of the fitness obsessed for many years; new studies show that the yogi population is increasingly growing. According to a new survey by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal the number of Americans doing yoga has grown by over 50% in the last four years. With the increase in numbers going from 20.4 million in 2012 to over 36 million as of 2016. This statistic makes my inner wellness goddess sing. A whole world full of yogis!!! But before I put on my Mary Jane Capezio tap shoes to celebrate, I want to show you that yoga is not a trend but a holistic practice that is here to stay. Here are some unforeseen reasons why you should join the yoga movement.
1. It helps with your emotional & mental health. Studies have shown that yoga could benefit those living with depression, schizophrenia, other psychiatric conditions, and sleep problems. Developed 5,000 years ago in India, yoga is a comprehensive system for well-being. It incorporates physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual disciplines in order to work with the nature of being a human. From the Sanskrit root verb yuj meaning to yoke, join or unite; yoga is seen as a divine union between the physical and spiritual self.
2. It helps you to build a sense of self. Through yoga, you are encouraged to cultivate a more nonjudgemental self relationship. You are building self trust which inspires you to live a better life by eating healthier and exercising more. When you are rooted in your sense of self, you develop a healthy balanced ego.
3. It improves your romantic relationships and increases your fertility. When you are more peaceful and centered with yourself, you will be that way with the people around you. This can have a huge effect on your romantic relationships. Yoga helps to reduce stress, increase relaxation and opens up energetic channels. With yoga our sexual lives are enhanced by making us feel more comfortable in our skin. Conception becomes easier as yoga allows more blood flow to the reproductive organs, improving organ activity, and boosting hormone functions.
4. It boost memory. When we reduce mental stress and physical tension, we are able to recall things easier and have more organized thoughts. Having a clear mind improves cognitive functions. Cognitive abilities are linked to goal-directed behavior and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional responses, habitual thinking patterns and actions.
5. It teaches us patience. Meditation is one of the cornerstones of yoga. Add meditation and the physical poses of yoga and it can challenge anyone's composure. It takes patience to clear your head, not move, and not allow the issues of the day to run through your mind. Just like the patience one needs to master the most difficult yoga positions, you need patience to care for your relationships and allow them to flourish.
The true spirit of Yoga is about compassion, awareness, and acceptance. Yoga is about becoming aligned with our individual self, making room for the truth of who we are both in body and in mind. As we let go of judgement, and begin to recognize our own ever-changing nature, we recognize that life is not a competition but a individualized journey. Allowing Yoga to truly be all-inclusive.