7 Ways to Defend Your Yoga Practice

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Everyone has that friend or family member that just doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for moving through a bunch of shapes on a rectangular mat only a couple inches away from another human. You try and explain your obsession with nailing a handstand in the middle of the room and they just roll their eyes. Rather than trying to convince them with your usual explanations of what yoga has done for you, give one of the following comebacks a shot in the next conversation. Maybe it will get them to finally give yoga a chance!

I can work harder, longer, stronger. 

yoga is more than deep binds and flexibility. Bodyweight movements, which cultivate functional strength and flexibility while supporting dynamic range of motion, help support neuromuscular efficiency. When everything works synergistically, we see greater rewards from disciplined practice, such as greater endurance, increased range of motion, improved flexibility, and injury prevention

I can breathe easily, finally.

Postures like side bends, twists, and backbends help create more space in the thoracic cavity, creating openness for deeper breathing. Through deeper breathing, the muscles of respiration are toned. Not only this, but greater lung capacity helps improve sports performance, performance in the bedroom, immunity, energy levels, and your body’s metabolic systems (those that take in nutrients and remove toxins).

I feel less stressed.

Breathing practices and meditation can help relax the mind and stabilize the autonomic nervous system, leading to easier activation of the relaxation response when presented with internal or external stressors. Stress relief, both physical and mental, translates beyond the mat into improved resiliency in the face of stressful life situations.

I can actually focus.

Balancing on one leg with your arms and legs wrapped around one another (Eagle pose) makes it especially challenging to let your mind wander to to-do list-making. Yoga poses are designed to require focused attention to the body and breath. Coordinating stable movement with the breath cultivates mindfulness, which supports concentration, mental clarity, and memory recall. Sensory overload is a daily reality in the average person’s life. Culturally, busy-ness is praised and self-care is indulgent. A class or home practice provides the opportunity to tune out the external demands and turn inward to give the senses a needed rest.

I’m more aware of my own wants and needs.

As both an internal and external practice, yoga shows us how we show up when faced with challenge and transition. Through practice, awareness is gained of muscle imbalances, internal dialogue, mental and emotional endurance, and how to uniquely express postures and movements. Self-awareness is beneficial in understanding the interconnectedness of everything.

Sex is better.

Yoga postures call for engagement and awareness of the pelvic floor, specifically the perineum. Activation of this space helps with circulation, control, and awareness, which can heighten arousal. Improved strength, endurance, lung capacity, mindfulness, and a connection to your own needs and wants will no doubt enhance your connection. When we experience something pleasurable, a natural response is a desire to share it, especially with someone we love. Dedication to a yoga practice is a form of self-love and self-compassion. Individual practice of these only strengthens our ability to generously extend it to another, which helps the entire relationship (under the sheets and beyond).

I have met some awesome people!

Heck yeah! Yoga classes often become micro-communities, especially at Bare Feet! You can form connections with the people around you through shared interests towards living a healthy and positive life.

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