yoga daily

Why You Need Yoga in Your Life- Especially When You're Crazy Busy!

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If you've ever said the words "there aren't enough hours in the day," you're not alone.

While there's no doubt that most of us have our plates full with work, family, friends, etc… studies show that we're not quite as busy as we think we are.

Life is about priorities and making time for the things you want and need. It’s important to take care of yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup, so it’s critical to take care of YOU. To do all the things you need to do and to do them well, you need to stop, breathe and give yourself a break.  So if you’ve been wanting to try yoga for a while, but you just can't seem to find the time, think again. Now is your chance to stop what you're doing and discover all of yoga’s amazing benefits so you can start to feel better. When we feel good, our lives feel much more manageable.

Here are a few ways yoga can help:

Yoga is a great way to work the body.

Yoga helps increase flexibility, improves muscle tone and strength, and helps develop better posture.  It’ll make you feel strong, empowered and renewed. Perhaps giving you a sense of confidence that wasn't there before.

Yoga helps you stay present.

Life seems to be filled with those never-ending to-do lists. We quickly move form one thing to the next, which makes it hard for us to be present in any given moment. Well yoga can help that. Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists. Spending a few minutes on your mat will help you stay in the moment and teach you to be more present in the flow of life.

Yoga helps you stay grounded and balanced.

When you're spending more than 8 hours a day at the office, staying grounded is tough. It can seem like your entire life is and endless cycle of work, eat, & sleep. Yoga can help bring more balance into your life and remind you about what's important. There is more to life than just working! Take time to feel centered and enjoy what's happening around you.

Yoga helps you destress.

Yoga helps decrease the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Yoga provides a nurturing space and quiet time to stop for a moment, relax and reflect upon our daily routine and priorities.  Stress is a part of our human nature, but we can go to yoga to balance it out. With yoga, you can begin to tap into that constant source of inner happiness so you can spend less time being bogged down and more time doing the things you love.

Yoga helps you sleep better.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, stress is highly correlated with sleep problems, and lack of sleep makes you more stressed out. So if your lifestyle is making it difficult for you to sleep, maybe yoga can help. With more sleep you’ll be more rested and ready for the day!

Yoga creates harmony between you and the world around you.

A regular yoga practice centres you and keeps you balanced. What yoga can teach you is to let go of things that no longer serve you. Being present and being ok with it, no matter what the particular moment reveals. It gives you confidence and realisation that you can actually achieve more than you think but without aggravation, unnecessary struggle and stress.

Here's to living a more balanced life.

Namaste!



Life Lessons I've Learned From Practicing Yoga!

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I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years. One thing I know for sure, it’s one of the most consistent and transformative things I’ve ever done. Over the last 10 years, yoga has been a constant presence in my life. I love yoga and continue to enjoy my practice and my ability to explore my body, mind, and soul. I believe that yoga is a gift for everyone to enjoy.

Through the years, I’ve learned that the physical health benefits of yoga are numerous, but yoga also has the ability to boost your emotional health as well. I’d like to share some of the things I’ve learned from yoga in this week’s blog.

I hope this article inspires you to give yoga a try and if you already have, I am sure you may agree with the things I have listed below!

Here are some of the life lessons that yoga has taught me.

Follow your heart:

Once opened, the possibilities for love and joy are endless! Once in a job I hated and living life in a perpetual pattern of negative thought, I discovered yoga and it helped open my mind to endless possibilities. Yoga gave me the strength and wisdom to get rid of my doubts, fears and worries.  Instead, I am able to listen to my inner self and follow my heart. Without yoga I wouldn't be where I am today- an entrepreneur, who opened her own yoga studio in an effort to give back to a community that gave her so much. I want to help others find their true path and empower them through their own yoga journey of healing and self discovery.

You are capable of more than you give yourself credit for:

I believe that whatever my goals are, I can accomplish them with determination, hard work, and persistence. For example, just a few years ago, I never thought I could do a handstand. But I can do them now (at least for few seconds lol) because I just kept practicing, gaining strength, and learning the technique little by little. Sometimes we put limits on ourselves, but we can do more than what we give ourselves credit for. I know things can seem scary sometimes, but it's in those moments, we know that we are alive. Plus, once we’ve achieved our goals, we are rewarded with a feeling of self accomplishment and satisfaction.  

Live in the present:

This can still be a challenge for me, but I work hard at it each day. When we step back and take a moment to consider how much of our day we spend worrying about what is going to happen next, or what has happened, it can become very detrimental to your mental, emotional and physical health. When we constantly worry about things we can’t control or change, we begin to feel anxious, stressed and even depressed. To avoid this, take each day, hour and even minute at a time to experience the present moment fully and let go of any other stressers you do not need. Yoga is a great way to help get you there. In yoga, we observe our thoughts, get down past the surface of everything and go deep into our core of existence. Here is where we find the answers to what we need to let go of and start living.

Just breathe:

This may sound simple, but trust me, it’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned.  When faced with a difficult situation or when experiencing unsettling emotions, the first thing that comes to my mind is “just breathe”. Slowly, in through the nose and out through the nose (eyes open or closed), I just breathe. Sure enough, I feel calmer, stronger and more able to deal with whatever is going on around me and within me.

Don't create unnecessary tension:

Sometimes in yoga when we get into a pose that challenges us, we clench our teeth and/or tense our shoulders or face. In those moments, it’s important to remember to relax and just breathe. Similarly in life, as things get hard, try not to overreact, panic, become defensive, or place blame, just relax and breathe. Unnecessary tension causes stress and stress is bad for our overall health.

Don’t take anything for granted:

Nothing in life is guaranteed. What is here today may be gone tomorrow, so appreciate and value what you have while you have it. You never know what may happen next. Remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination. With yoga, and with life, the beauty of the practice is not about the “results,” but about the journey. Enjoy every moment and don’t take anything for granted.

It's ok to fall:

You know that pose that looks and seems totally impossible? You'll never gain the strength and flexibility you need to do it if you don’t try. Same applies in life; stop worrying about if you fall down and just give it a try and keep trying until one day it sticks!

Be patient:

You can’t force your body to open into a pose before it's ready, otherwise you could get hurt.  To get into more challenging poses, you need to warm up and work up to them; some poses take a lifetime. Life is the same way, forcing things to happen when they aren’t ready, almost never gets us closer to our goals.

Alignment is key:

In yoga poses, it's important to align your body properly to avoid risk of injuries. Same with life. If you do things that don’t align with your core values, you put yourself at risk and prevent yourself from achieving your goals.

Only you know your body:

In a yoga class, your teacher is there to guide you and offer suggestions. No matter how many teacher trainings they’ve completed, he/she doesn't live in your body and he/she doesn't feel what you feel. For this reason, you are the only one who can really make sound decisions for yourself. Trust your judgment, do what feels right, and you can never go wrong.

We never stop learning:

As soon as you think you've mastered a pose, making a slight adjustment can change everything. Every pose has multiple variations that can make it more supportive or challenging. This is the nature of yoga poses, and also the nature of life. There's always another lesson to learn, new places to explore, and new challenges to meet.

Never give up:

Whether it's mastering a new yoga pose or attaining your life’s goal or dreams, never give up. Yoga has helped teach me to find the resilience, courage and inner strength to believe in myself and to never give up. So for those of you currently facing challenging times and searching for strength, know that’s it's already within you, all you need is the courage to pull it out; never give up.

 

Every time you get on your mat you bring with you different challenges; with different mental, physical and emotional challenges, the experience differs accordingly. Sometimes you feel physically strong, while other times your balance may be off and that’s ok.  Take a few moments to observe and accept what is going on and then learn from it. Enjoy the journey of life, continue to grow and challenge yourself, and never give up!


 

 

Male Yoga (Broga)

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Do you consider yoga to be a little too ladylike?

Well fellas, yoga is not a women's only club. Yoga offers plenty of benefits that appeal to men too. And for this week’s blog, I decided to dedicate it to all the men out there who have been afraid to do yoga because they can't touch their toes, or are hesitant to walk into a class with all women.  

 

Here are 10 reason to get on your yoga mat:

 

Check your ego at the door. There is no competition here!

Men are very competitive and are taught this at an early age.  Well there is no competition in yoga. In yoga, what the person next to you is doing doesn’t matter. It’s just you and your mat. Each day is different and some days you might be able to do more than others and that's ok. Yoga teaches us to live in the present and accept where and who we are. Each time we step onto the mat, we explore our boundaries, nurture our bodies, and work on being kinder to ourselves.

Total Health:

Yoga looks at the full spectrum of health and not just at being strong, having ripped muscles, a tight body or being flexible. If your mind isn’t calm and your heart isn’t open, if you feel anxious, or depressed, but you have nice muscles, who cares?

Being strong, having pain-free movement, being flexible and existing peacefully is where it’s at and yoga encompases all of that! Yoga allows you to explore your boundaries and opens you up to wonderful experiences physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Improves Sex Life:

Yoga has been know to boost your sex drive. A study completed by the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control.

Yoga increases body awareness, which helps reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area. It also helps rid the body of toxins that affect sexual performance.

Prevents Injuries:

If you often experience aches and pains and soreness either from being physically active or sitting at a desk all day, yoga can help. Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue.

Builds Muscle:

Weightlifting is not the only way to build muscles. Yoga uses body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. Yoga lengthens muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps recovery and helps your muscles grow.

Enhances Productivity:

Research found that people who frequently participate in a 20-minute yoga session had improved memory and inhibitory control (or the ability to focus and retain new information). These people made confident work decisions, had better energy, improved work relationships, and had better focus and memory retention compared to those who jogged or walked for 20 minutes.

Boosts Immune System:

Yoga classes can support your immune system, nervous system, digestive health and more! Studies show that when people practice yoga regularly, their immune system gets stronger and their body's ability to fight off germs and viruses improves significantly. Yoga does this by flushing the body of toxins, particularly if you do any form of hot yoga (i.e. at Empower Yoga)

Yoga Challenges You:

Yoga offers a whole body workout gathering support from the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine systems.

Whether you're trying to master a new pose, arm balance, inversion, or just trying to focus your mind during a hectic day, yoga can help teach you how to grow and get stronger, challenging you to be your best and strongest self both physically and mentally.

Relieves Stress:

Studies completed by The Mayo Clinic show that people who did yoga regularly had lower levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, a counterweight to the fight-or-flight response of stress, ultimately reducing levels of cortisol, a primary stress hormone.  When cortisol levels are high it can harm thyroid function, damage muscle tissue, increase blood pressure, cause inflammation, and more if cortisol is too high.

Improves Self Confidence:

When you feel stronger, aligned, in balance, have increased body awareness, are more flexible, and have an increased sex drive, you will most likely begin to feel more confidant.

 

So maybe it’s time to man up, and get your yoga on ;)