We’ve all heard about the many benefits of yoga. Yoga helps us with developing strength and flexibility. It brings us back to our center. It makes us slow down and remember that we are each just one tiny part of our incredibly massive universe.
But what about the benefits of yoga that nobody’s talking about? Here are 3:
Yoga Teaches Us Patience
Yes, patience. And not just for ourselves; for everyone around us. Our lives are always so busy that time goes by in a snap and we often find ourselves snapping at our kids, our spouse, or our coworkers. But why?
Time is an illusion. We invented it. We live by it, but it doesn’t actually mean anything. That’s not to say that deadlines can be missed or important events put off. It means that we don’t need to curse at the driver ahead of us for going the speed limit, or rush our children out the door on a weekend.
So what does yoga have to do with this?
Yoga teaches us to consciously breathe, and more importantly, breathe out what no longer serves us. If your body is resistant to something, breathe. When you feel your anxiety rising, breathe. The mindful breathing practices that are so synonymous with the practice of yoga are calming and teach us to be more patient.
And everyone knows that patience is a virtue.
Yoga is Humbling
Sitting in a crowded room full of people from all walks of life that we either barely know or don’t know at all can be incredibly humbling. It reminds us to not take ourselves so seriously. We are all but one being in a world of billions–a minuscule piece of the puzzle that is existence. We can be stressed and angry, or we can be kind and supportive.
The decision to be humble is a choice, and yoga reminds us of that.
Yoga Forces Us to Think Differently
What do I mean by differently? I mean that when you’re laying on your mat in Savasana, with nothing to do but close your eyes and breathe for 5-10 minutes, there is a different kind of thought process that naturally occurs. We’re supposed to be actively trying not to think, but realistically, even the method of attempting to attain that goal makes us think in a way we usually don’t.
This alternate thinking pattern is both valuable and necessary. It gently forces us to not focus on our own issues, but instead, focus on accepting them and moving on–if only for 5-10 minutes.
So the next time someone suggests you attend a yoga class because it will help your tight hamstrings (which it will!), remember that the benefits of yoga extend far beyond that. If you’re interested in scheduling a private yoga class with Brittany, please contact her on her Find page. You can also read more about what types of classes she offers by going to her Services page.
Image by Parallel Yoga in Abbotsford, British Columbia