Why You Need To Practice Yoga


I started practicing yoga about 14 years ago. I primarily started because I have degenerative disc disease, which is a fancy way of saying the cushion in between the vertebrae in my spine is getting hard. Yoga is fantastic for back issues because the stretching stimulates the fluid in the vertebrae helping to keep it flexible and strong. Taking yoga classes helps me stay off medication for my back issue but there are so many other benefits that I didn't realize I would get from practicing yoga.

why you need to practice yoga

Yoga is a low-impact activity that keeps you active and strong. There are many different types of yoga, such as Hot Yoga or Power Yoga and there is even Chair Yoga. I religiously practice Yoga at least 1 day per week. I also take the time to add a short routine one day during the week using YouTube videos. There are so many great yoga teachers that have free routines available for you. What I really like about YouTube is being able to try different routines and there are short practices that are only 10 minutes long.

When I tell people they should practice yoga, the very first thing they say is that they aren't flexible and can't do it. But yoga is not about being flexible. It is about stretching and building strength within your body's ability. There are some poses you may never be able to do! That is OK!

Modifications are usually given to get as close to the pose as possible. Plus, don't be surprised if one day you achieve the pose! A very wise yoga teacher I have often says "it is yoga practice, not yoga perfect". You may never perfect all of the poses but just coming close is good enough!

Below are 4 reasons you need to practice yoga.

1) YOGA ALLOWS YOU TO LET GO

One of the most beneficial parts of yoga is the ability to focus on what is happening in the class for 1 hour. If you let your mind wander during class, there is no way you can do the poses and keep up. You must focus on what is happening around you. In fact, Everyday Health reports that yoga may improve cognitive function because you have to clear your mind and refresh. From a place of peace and calm, we are able to use our mental facilities more efficiently. (Image: yoga.com)

woman laying down in corpse pose relaxing

2) YOGA MAY HELP MANAGE PAIN

While yoga cannot cure pain or physical ailments, it can help manage the pain. Harvard Health Publishing reports a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Another study published at nearly the same time found that yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain. (Image: Total Beauty.com)

woman practicing standing forward bend