Surprising Benefits of Yoga in Everyday LifeSep 01, 2021 04:20PM ● By Kris Urquhart
Yoga is not about achievement, it’s about the process of learning. And while gaining a better sense of balance, a stronger body or a more relaxed mind may feel like achievement, there is always something more to learn in every aspect; one can progress in awareness, fitness, clarity, love and a multitude of other ways. Yoga can be an exercise, but it can also be incorporated into daily life.
“Yoga is different things to different people, but to me, it's love, giving love, and sharing love,” says Marilyn Hallock from Yoga with Marilyn in Satellite Beach. “Yoga is not just about the shape of your body, it's about the shape of your life. While yoga allows your body to become flexible, it also helps clear your mind as you begin to let go of thoughts and things you need to do later.”
Breath for Life
There is a great deal of focus on breathing during yoga.
“The breath is the most important thing that we do. It translates into how we feel energetically, emotionally and mentally. Through the breath we have a way to change our energy at will. When we learn how to breathe in yoga we relearn how to breathe in our everyday life,” says Cassie Camp, owner of Kula Yoga in Merritt Island. “The breath will naturally ease anxiety and stress, while also strengthening the lung capacity. Each time you come into a yoga pose bring your attention to the breath and tune into you.”
Yogic breathing, or pranayama, can be practiced even off the mat and it’s great for those anxiety-producing days. “Sitting up straight, maybe even on the edge of your chair, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. Count your heart beats as you breathe in, again, as you breath out. Try to make your exhales longer by 2 or 3 beats than the inhales, pausing at the top and bottom of each breath. Practice 3 to 7 rounds and see how it clears and settles your mind,” says Eden Shaw, owner of Blissful.Energy in West Melbourne.
Fitness in Body and Mind
“Committing to a regular practice, 2 to 3 times a week, you will begin to feel more energy, improved range of motion, muscle strength and control, balance, flexibility,” says Pat Murray, owner of Indian River Bikram Yoga in Vero Beach. “Each day your body is different. Be patient. Trust the process.”
Yoga postures are designed to systematically work every part of the body and give internal organs, veins, ligaments and muscles what is needed to maintain health and function. Yoga asanas rejuvenate the spine, strengthen the immune system and enhance the circulatory system.
There are many varieties of yoga, including chair yoga, slow flow, yin, hatha, Bikram and aerial yoga. AntiGravity Fitness is a type of aerial yoga. “AntiGravity Fitness involves performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, performed in a hammock-like apparatus, in order to achieve a total-body workout,” says Jennifer Wiggins, owner of Just Breathe Aerials in Port St. Lucie. Aerial yoga decompresses the spine, reduces stress and helps increase strength and flexibility.
“Practicing yoga brings us to a place of admiration and acceptance of self. With self-love comes a feeling of inner peace. Inner peace guides us to living and learning from a place of love. This self-love practice has a ripple effect and then touches every aspect of our lives,” says Gina Baldo, manager at Down to Earth Yoga Studio in Port St. Lucie.
Confidence and Levity
“We have been raised in a ‘more is more,’ no-pain no-gain society, in competition either with others or self when approaching anything we view as physical,” says Baldo. But knowing that there is no ending to this way of life and that every day the body and mind are different, it becomes easier not to take oneself so seriously.
“Yoga combines breath with movement and encourages students to step outside their comfort zone to expand body and mind,” says Wiggins. “You will awaken strength, concentration, energy and balance. You'll stretch both your mind and body while building strength with very low impact.”
“Always come to the yoga mat with an attitude open to exploration. Exploring different types of yoga at different times in your practice can open up a whole realm of possibilities,” says Baldo.
Being Curious and In Tune
As one works out the kinks and the aches through yoga poses, mindfulness of the body and surroundings often increases. Yoga brings inner knowledge forward, which not only helps during yoga practice, but through life.
“Being in tune with your inner knowing requires mindfulness and understanding. Understanding that we are all just human and we truly deserve to be happy,” says Shaw. “Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. Be kind, patient and loving to your mind and body. Trust in yourself and know that you know what to do.”
Connect with these instructors and find a yoga studio near you by clicking on the studio links in the article.