Yoga benefits everyone physically, mentally and spiritually, regardless of age, body shape and size, or level of current physical activity. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this belief.
I polled members of our Facebook page and asked what benefits yoga has given them. Applying a humorous twist, this blog pokes fun at what we found out.
Why should you not do yoga?
1. You like to stay awake when you should be sleeping. Sleep is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system, the system in charge of rest and digestion. The cornerstones of a good yoga practice are long, slow breathing and meditation, which increase the parasympathetic activity; thereby, relieving sleep disorders like insomnia.
2. You like the feeling of nagging back aches. The stretching in yoga poses build flexibility and strength relieving back soreness. For occasional soreness or chronic pain, several yoga postures can bring your back to its proper alignment.
3. Shortness of breath prevents you from taking your gym routine to the next level. And you like it this way. Another benefit of long, deep breathing is increased lung capacity. So when you need to go that extra mile, you can!
4. Your mind has a tendency to dwell on negative thoughts and you’d rather ferment in this state. Fermentation is good for vinegar and sauerkraut but not for your mind! Yoga helps create awareness, a state when one becomes a mere observer of themselves. "I used to not be aware that I am ruminating on negative thoughts, anger, irritation, and fear. Since practicing yoga, I catch myself doing it and so I tell myself to stop,“says a beginner yogi friend.
5. You love the company of stress. Imagine yourself breathing deeply and rhythmically, relaxing your muscles by gently releasing tension, flushing all parts of the body and brain with fresh blood, oxygen, and other nutrients, and increasing feelings of well-being? ‘Nuf said!
6. As you age, your shoulders start to droop and your belly starts to hang. And you think this is a sexy posture. All yoga poses promote proper body alignment. Tadasana (mountain pose) is the mother of all poses with feet firmly planted to the ground, muscles hugging towards your vertical center line, belly pulled towards your spine, shoulders stacked over hips and chest opens wide; you pull up through the crown of your head. All other poses are a derivative of this perfect true north alignment pose.
7. You’re a manly-man and yoga is for ‘wussies’. The secret to how the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl is finally revealed! You got it – yoga!
So, if you are already practicing yoga, please continue. If you are thinking of starting yoga, just do it! If you are on the fence, consider that straddling is harder than just trying your first class. If you are in the Rochester, New York area, we hope to see you on the mat in one of these classes.