Yoga is a discipline that allows for exploration of the physical, emotional, and mental connections of our bodies through breathing and movement. It improves our bodies physically and mentally through increased fitness, flexibility, and rejuvenation. Moving through different yoga positions, or asanas, activates different muscle groups and increases circulation to all organs in your body.
The aim of doing yoga asanas is to connect your breathing to each movement you do to achieve a tuning out effect. In essence, if you are actively engaged in breathing through every movement, your mind is engaged in the moment and not distracted with worries about whatever else is going on in your life. The ultimate goal is to provide you with mental clarity in order to facilitate a meditative mindset, while the physical aspect of yoga practice challenges our awareness to maintain stability and clarity under physical pressure.
Yoga empowers us to hold on to our meditative mind even during times of intense demand, through focused and intentional breathing. Aside from developing physical capabilities, yoga also cultivates and refines the ability of our minds to remain calm, stable, and strong under pressure.
Although getting started may seem daunting, it really can be quite simple. If you want to join a class and get instruction, there are more and more companies starting every day. Just about all of them should offer introductory yoga classes. If you want a good incentive to start, look for some sort of coupon offer. For example, Groupon often features deals on a set of yoga classes or an introductory membership deal. Rec centers and gym clubs also often offer yoga classes, so if you have a membership somewhere, look into what they have to offer.
Finally, if you’re shy or don’t feel that the class concept is for you, it’s easy to practice yoga at home. While a yoga mat is useful, it’s not really necessary. All you need is enough space somewhere to do the poses. For instruction, there is a wealth of sites and videos available online. A search for “beginner’s yoga” will turn up thousands of results, with many good lessons available for free.
Once you get going, you may soon discover why people who practice yoga are so effusive about it. While adopting it as a regular practice will take work (as developing any good habit often does), the return benefits will be great as you will feel rejuvenated and healthier, you’ll sleep better, and your willpower and ability to focus will improve.