I’ve been blathering away here for a while, telling stories, singing the praises and extolling the virtues of a regular yoga practice. But seriously, why do yoga? Why not some other exercise.
I think it’s fair to say the answer to that question has as many answers as there are people. So, more specifically, why do I do yoga? Well, mostly because I enjoy it, but I don’t think that helps much.
Like many things in life, my journey into yoga began as a result of serendipity. For those of you who don’t like $5 words, that’s pure dumb luck. My wife and I were studying abroad, and one of our classmates told us about this yoga/Pilates club nearby, and it had hot yoga, and he loved hot yoga, and we had to try it. So we did. 13 years and about 1000 classes later, I still try to get in 3–4 times a week.
But again, why?
Well, in no particular order, here are some of the benefits I have received from a regular yoga practice;
- Increased weight (and strength)
- Increased flexibility
- Improved core strength and stability
- Better balance
- Improved posture
- Reduced back and neck pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved shoulder mobility
- Lowered stress
- Improved general health
- Improved immune response
- Increased patience
- Increased focus
- Better diet
Basically, through a regular yoga practice, I’ve gotten better at life. Might I gain these benefits from some other form of exercise (after all, I do incorporate a regular hot Pilates class into my routine)? Maybe. But return to my first, wiseass answer. I enjoy it. And why give up something I enjoy, that provides me all these other benefits, to try to find some other, equally beneficial exercise?
Cross posted at Standupright.ca, where I write about pain, posture and the benefits of yoga.