5 Reasons to Practice Yoga & Meditation

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Hey guys, welcome back to the blog! In south Texas, it’s currently storming and tornado warnings are being thrown around like there’s no tomorrow. Since I’m stuck inside for the next couple of hours, I thought to myself, “what a great moment to make a blog post!” So, here I am coming to you guys with an informative and hopefully life-changing post!

I started incorporating yoga and meditation in my life last year. Even though I don’t do it consistently, when I do roll out my mat and get my stretch on, I immediately start to feel the benefits. For me, it’s something I can always go to whenever I feel negative energy or negative thoughts inside me. It’s not always about the stretching or flexibility or how you look in a certain pose. If I was able to convince my boyfriend to do some yoga and meditation, then you know you should give it a try! Here’s 5 reasons why you should jump aboard the yogi train:

1. No Competition/Comparison

Okay, so I’m a very competitive person. I’m so competitive, that there have been instances where I’ve wanted to quit something because I wasn’t the best or because I wasn’t number one (yikes, I know). When I attended my first yoga session, I felt that drive to do everything better than everyone else. I surveyed the other people in the room and sought out which ones looked like they were pros at yoga. Since I took ballet as a child, I still had some flexibility leftover and thought I could just jump into the poses like I was an expert and out perform those that I saw earlier. WRONG. I actually almost hurt myself the first time, and this is where I realized I let my pride get the best of me. After that, the feeling changed and I also made a second realization that I was probably the only one in the room that felt like I was competing. Yoga is such a calm, relaxed and chill environment, and there’s no need to compete with the person next to you or feel like you suck because you can’t touch your toes. The instructor constantly says to take things at your own pace and to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. That’s a big one. If the girl or guy in front of you is able to touch their toe to their forehead and you can’t even lift your foot off the ground, that’s okay, and it’s perfectly acceptable. It’s better to not hurt yourself rather than trying to show off. It’s a judge free zone and the instructors are always encouraging! The more you do it, the more you’ll find your own pace.

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2. All Ages Are Welcome

This is more applicable to yoga than meditation. Most young children are not going to sit still enough to meditate for even five minutes (let’s be real). However, they can have a ton of fun with a yoga practice! What I love the most is that many of the poses are made accessible to any skill level. If you can’t get your leg straight or deep enough, there’s an alternative version that still gives you a good stretch without the complexity. It’s amazing because you’ll be in a session and you are with all these people performing the same poses yet to your right is a 60-year-old man and to your left is a pregnant 30-year-old woman. At my university, skill level classes aren’t really offered, but there are also different levels of yoga which make it so versatile. As you grow you’ll find yourself able to increase difficulty and you’ll be able to create new goals for yourself!

3. You Can Do It Anywhere

I know this sounds like the title of a Dr. Seuss book, but I’m not exaggerating! With the technology we have now, yoga and meditation is pretty much available to you 24/7. Whenever it’s a beautiful day, grab that yoga mat and head outside. The feeling of the sun on your skin while engaging in a deep and inspirational yoga practice can’t even be put into words. Also, the sounds of nature make for a very focused and relaxed meditation session! My favorite motivation app for the iPhone is Calm and my favorite yoga Youtuber is Yoga with Adriene. Check them out if you can!

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4. Exercise

This applies to yoga more than meditation. Even though it doesn’t seem like you’re doing much, yoga is a great source of exercise! It works a lot on arm and core strength. Many of the poses are held for a certain amount of seconds (or breaths), so it really does work your muscles. Also, flexibility is something that tends to decline with age. People worry so much about strength training and cardio, they forget that flexibility is also a very important part of maintaining a healthy body. Yoga is a great use for that! It allows you to increase your flexibility while taking things at your own comfortable pace. Most yoga sessions are 30 minutes to 1 hour in length, and because the environment is so relaxing, you don’t even realize the time flying by!

5. Stress Relief/Focus

Yoga and meditation both provide a sense of stress relief and focus. A lot of the time, the instructor or the voice guiding you through meditation will tell you to clear your mind and listen to your breath. I know it sounds really easy, but it’s actually one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. As people, we’ve developed this idea that we constantly have to be doing something to be productive, but that’s the opposite. Giving your mind and body time to relax is important and can contribute to more energy and creativity! If you practice these two diligently, you’ll find it easier to focus on your task at hand or to not let life overwhelm you. Meditation also allows you to become more in tune with yourself. Take 5 minutes of your day to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling.

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Yoga and meditation are seriously life-changing and I hope you guys check it out!

*all gifs are from giphy.com

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