Yoga changes lives. It probably sounds like a bold claim if you've never tried yoga. But people worldwide can attest to the powerful effects of this five-thousand-year-old practice. You may only notice the physical aspects first from the outside looking in, but it's so much more! Yoga enhances many facets of wellness in your life; one of the first ones to show up is compassion. Compassion tends to come relatively quickly. Maybe it's because you start to show yourself a little love and self-care, or perhaps it's something else. Either way, those who begin their yoga journey often feel more compassionate about themselves, other people, and the world around them.
After compassion comes facing yourself, which you might think you're not ready for, but the love of your practice and how it makes you feel gets you there eventually. As you grow and become more confident with facing some physical limitations in your practice, you also come face-to-face with other challenges in your life. The more you practice, the more you face yourself, and only then can you make significant changes that impact your life for the better.
That's when the trifecta of yoga, unity of the body, mind, and soul, happens. Life looks good, life feels good, life IS good. Stressful days turn into acceptance, better breathing, and healthier decisions. You intentionally slow down. You choose to be present and at peace with each moment. I wouldn't say we are fully present 100% of the time. I can confidently say that adopting this mindset on and off your mat can help you savor moments, regardless of how mundane or stressful they may seem.
Once you face yourself, connecting with your emotions and letting your mind heal is more straightforward. It is intentional when a teacher shares that "We keep our issues in our tissues" or "Our hips are the junk drawers of the body." Research shows how practicing yoga can help release trauma that can reside in your body. Sitting with your emotions and allowing them to take up space instead of over-analyzing or reacting will enable you to better process your feelings.
Most people don't realize just how powerful yoga can be. If you want your world changed, go ahead, and give yoga a try. It's not magical or mystical; it's just small changes that improve your life over time. Find a class, begin the practice, and you won't be sorry.