THE BENEFITS OF A DAILY PRACTICE
Eastern and Western medical experts and health practitioners alike have come to agree that dedicating yourself to a daily yoga practice has significant benefits on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Besides working up a sweat and discovering how to twist your body into pretzel-like shapes, yoga offers a plethora of lessons that can be directly integrated into our everyday lives with spectacular benefits. As we fearlessly jump into this new year, a daily practice (no matter what it looks like) is a habit that will give back.
The gift of space:
“I don’t have time for yoga” is a common response in a modern society that has come to glorify the concept of having a busy and hectic lifestyle. A daily yoga practice doesn’t need to look like a full 90-minute class. A daily yoga practice may be 30 minutes one day, a ten-minute meditation another day and a 45 minutes of flow and breath work the next. The duration is far less important than your dedication to just showing up. Yoga gifts you time and space for yourself as well as time and space to be more present with the people in your life. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to check in on your mat often makes you more focused, centered and efficient for the remainder of your day.
The gift of self-care:
No matter what we have going on in our lives, self care is non-negotiable. Dedicating time to a daily practice is an offering to yourself and a clear statement that says ‘I am worthy.’ Your yoga practice isn’t selfish; it isn’t any less important that the other dozen things on your to-do list. In fact, taking time to nurture and nourish yourself ensures you have the energy and mindset to tackle whatever may show up in your world. Filling up your own cup is essential to being able to show up for the other people and commitments in your life.
The gift of presence:
We tend to move through our days on auto pilot, always one step in the future or looking back into the past, instead of being firmly grounded in the here and now. Yoga is one of the most powerful ways to pull yourself into the present moment. Stepping onto your mat is almost like stepping into the eye of the storm – a place where no matter the chaos happening outside of you, there is a place of peace and gratitude for the simple experience of the present moment.
The gift of movement:
On a physical level, yoga offers many benefits for the body. From assisting digestion, increasing strength and flexibility, toning muscles, supporting spinal health and alleviating pain, yoga has been proven to be a tremendous tool both for healing and injury prevention. Keeping the body mobile is becoming even more important in a society that is increasingly dominated by a sedentary lifestyle. Movement can also help to boost endorphins and uplift your mood.
The gift of grounding:
Yoga has the ability to lift us up and simultaneously ground us down. Our practice connects us to the primal elements within us, rooting us to the earth and to our bodies in an empowering way. When we feel grounded, we can move through life with clarity and purpose. We can make decisions with ease, and we can connect with our intuition. A daily practice maintains this connection, strength and resolution to walk our chosen path with dedication.
The gift of inspiration:
There is an inherent beauty in the practice of yoga. It has a softness and grace and offers a journey through which we discover new things about ourselves and the world around us. Yoga inspires us to be better people, to follow the things that set our hearts on fire, and to be the change we wish to see in the world. Yoga develops connection, reminding us of our common nature and that we are indeed all connected. Whether we are in a yoga studio or in our own home, the power of the practice moves beyond borders and creates a community. Yoga permeates our existence in the most beautiful of ways and reminds us of our infinite potential. A daily practice is a ritual that can shape the way we experience each day. The more we practice, the more we are empowered to consciously create our lives.
About the Author
Kelly is a passionate writer and raw/vegan chef who combines her love of writing with her forays into health and wellness. Kelly has traveled and worked extensively across the world in health resorts, detox centers, raw food restaurants and wellness retreats, sharing ways to live simply, mindfully and sustainably.
Her work is regularly published in print media and online, as well as her own website, ‘Raw By Nature’ which offers vibrant nourishing recipes and information about plant-based living. A gypsy heart and lover of nature, Kelly finds inspiration in the world around her and translates her visions into whimsical stories and edible creations.