The other day a friend asked me, “Why did you pick yoga? Why yoga over other exercises?”
I want people to be the best versions of themselves, and I believe yoga provides the best medium for personal growth over other forms of exercise.
Yes, we know exercise increases productivity, reduces stress, and provides health benefits. While, yoga does this too, it also opens doors to deeper growth, understanding personal truths, meditation, and deeper health benefits.
I started yoga while completing my honors thesis for my bachelor of science. I was a logical thinker, rejected anything not backed by science, and was quite stubborn. Sitting calmly with my eyes closed and paying attention to my breath class, during my first yoga class, was the first taste of relaxation I had during my whole university career.
I went to yoga to get a hot body. That’s how they rope you in, and I’m glad they did, because it changed my life. They start with focusing on the breath, and, without realizing it, you begin to live in the present moment during class.
Then there’s this strange energy in the room. You can feel it, but, as a scientist, it’s hard to describe. Following the class, you always have a peaceful relaxed feeling. The more you go, the more you start to memorize and bring the peaceful feelings and present moment mindfulness to every day activities.
In yoga, they tell you to breath through the tough times. Pay attention to your body. How does it feel? Just breath and chant the odd OM. Sure, I can do that. Why not?
Because I learned in yoga how to pay attention to my body, I started noticing feelings in my body including being more in tune with emotions. Sometimes emotions and feeling would come up in final relaxation. Truths I ignored during my regular day.
I weaved through the poses: twists, heart openers, and hips. Hips store emotions, twists detox, and heart openers run deep with the heart chakra. Stress and emotions store themselves in your body, and yoga works it out. Deals with it. I got all the calming mind benefits along with the body.
My body changed. After three months of yoga, I gained fifteen pounds of muscle and toned the right areas. I was open to trying meditation and ceremonies I considered strange prior to yoga. I faced my emotions and started healing. I became more open minded to personal growth activities. I broke free from denial and started opening my heart. It was easier to breath through the tough times.
I have yoga to thank today, as the gateway – the root inspiration, to the beginning of my journey to becoming the best version of myself.
So why yoga?
Yoga makes us love more, stress less, face truths, overcome obstacles, breath easy through tough times, detoxify, look younger, reduce judgments, change mindsets, breathe, meditate, improve digestive health, increase happiness, calm the mind, become more open-minded, increase flexibility, improve metabolism and circulation, live in the present moment, increase physical strength, strengthen bones, and decrease body fat.
I started yoga for the exercise. What resulted was much more and nothing short of amazing growth. I healed my body and my soul. I told you my story, because I want you to think about yoga and how it can be a gateway in your own personal growth journey.
In order to be the best version of yourself, you need an exercise modality. Please consider yoga.
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