When I was working on my masters, I made a website about yoga (2007). I surveyed my students for questions and information, and answered them on the site. This post (and some to follow) is an integration of that material, as I’ll take the old site down soon.
The reasons people take yoga are numerous. The most straightforward and well documented are physical, such as flexibility, balance, muscular strength, and endurance. Other benefits include relaxation, reduced stress, depression, and anxiety, improved breathing, and a deeper, more comfortable relationship with yourself.
I started yoga because I like to move, and continued because it relaxes me like little else. It improved my patience and ability to sit for long periods, which I later learned was an inspiration for its development. It also impacts the way I see the world and my relationship with myself in a way nothing else can—if I let it.
One student said, “I take yoga because of the smile it puts on my face for the rest of the day.” Another, “I sleep better, feel less stressed out, and have a better week. Moving makes me feel alive and in the moment.” And another, “ In yoga, my mind really stops and I’m able to feel silence. It’s hard otherwise to get myself to stop thinking….I want to forget who I think I am and remember who I really am. After every class, I am inspired to treat myself better than I do—to eat better, get more sleep, forget about stress. Not that I do it, but I have great Tuesdays nonetheless.”
If you’ve anything to add, by all means. :)