Why Yoga? Reason #2

Sunday is yoga day. I’ve written about how it helps me avoid the tin man syndrome.  Here’s another reason I include yoga in my regular fitness routine…

To Calm the Beast in Me

My family can tell you that I can be a bear, a bit on edge, even tightly wound. I blame it on a Masarech gene, passed down through the family, labeled a bit fondly as “street-angel-house-devil.”  The first time I heard Johnny Cash’s rendition of “The Beast in Me” (written for him by Nick Lowe) on the American Recordings album produced by Rick Rubin, I knew Johnny and I were soulmates. But I digress. Actually, his performance is a worthy digression.

Breathe…

Yoga centers me. It forces me to slow down and focus. It makes me breathe with purpose. It calms me. It helps stress melt away. I’m a nicer person when I do yoga. I should probably do it more often!upward_dog

And it’s not just me. One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine a few years ago found evidence that yoga has a more beneficial impact on mood than walking.

Body and Mind

A vibrant life requires more than a strong, healthy body. There’s also an emotional, attitudinal component. So don’t think you’re all set if you’re watching calories and doing regular cardio.

Try yoga if you need to to address the mind/heart part of your life. If you’re new to the practice, check out a local studio. A good teacher can really help you understand how to do the different postures correctly. You can also check out Living Green’s 15-minute awakening practice.

Yoga is the closest I get most weeks to meditation. It’s a topic I plan to explore more, after hearing Tara Brach speak about the benefits of meditation at last week’s Achieving Optimal Health Conference at Georgetown University and discovering Shirzad Chamine’s positive intelligence writings.

Stay tuned. And breathe.

October 18th update: I just came across this short post that I thought was worthy of sharing: MindBodyGreen’s “7 Reasons Why Yogis Are Happier People.

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