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Benefits of Yoga

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                                                                                 Stressed? Tense? Bored of the same routine? Want to learn something new? 

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, yoga is calling you. 

That’s right. Men, women, teens, even you youngsters might want to take a serious look at taking a yoga class. If you’re anything like me, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear yoga is some stretching and being in a quiet room. But let me tell you from experience, it is much, much more. 

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.”- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

In case you were wondering, yoga originated in India and is a Sanskrit word meaning “to join”. Around the corner, we will be celebrating national yoga day on June 21. 
Yoga’s true purpose is to serve as a spiritual practice, while some have also seen it as a way of physical exercise. This practice has been extremely popular in America in the 21st century and has continued to grow as a way of connecting with the inner self. I have personally found that yoga helps me in more ways than one and has continued to surprise me with its major benefits. 

1. Flexibility
Let me tell you, before I started doing yoga I was as stiff as a board (maybe even stiffer). I hated not being able to reach all the way down to the floor with legs completely straight and forget it if I tried arms behind my back. But now that I have practiced yoga daily, I am able to bend and move around with no issues whatsoever. 

2. Mental Health
Yoga has been proven through multiple studies including ones from Harvard, that the practice allows for inner awareness. As I practice yoga, there’s no room for noise. I'm not just talking about external noise such as loud music or conversation, but the kind that internally doesn't allow you to feel any sort of peace. My mind finally has the power to become fully aware of what I am doing at the moment rather than thinking about the thousands of things I have to accomplish throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where my mind wanders off to elsewhere and I’m thinking about what groceries I need to pick up, but overall I have been able to strengthen my mind and body by allowing myself to. 
3. Weight Loss
That’s right. Yoga can also shed a couple pounds if you are looking to lose some weight from being quarantined. This practice has the ability to use physical activity and breathing exercises in order to improve body image. Studies have found that those who were overweight, lost weight and those who were in middle adulthood gained less weight if they practiced yoga daily. Overall, yoga has proven to lower your body mass index (aka BMI).

4. Mindful Eater
I have never been a mindful eater. I’m talkin eating all the Oreos until the package is completely gone. However, since taking yoga I have been able to not take eating for granted while also listening for hunger cues. I can still have my Oreos, but now I don't feel any guilt because I only take a small amount rather than the whole box. Making it a habit to listen to your body is never easy, but yoga has definitely helped in looking at food as a way of fueling the body rather than hurting it.

5. Helping your fitness goals
This practice has the ability to increase muscle strength while also helping in cardio-respiratory fitness. Before yoga, running a mile was tortuous for me for many reasons, one being anxiousness. With the help of yoga, my mind is finally at ease and has soothed my tensions without feeling overwhelmed. Now I have the ability to feel like I can run endlessly! (Or at least the entire 1 mile). 
So why not take a class tomorrow or try a Youtube video at home and see how it feels for yourself!? You got this!

Do you want to contribute or share your thoughts? Please email us at info@vibrnz.com

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Yoga blog by Jaclyn Ilcyn, Arts and Communication Major
In this blog, Jaclyn shares the benefits of yoga for all age groups. It sure will make you consider joining Yoga classes or atleast tempt you to give it a try!
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