Doing yoga at home provides many physical benefits. But when it becomes a lifestyle, your yoga practice becomes so much more.
Take the time to go deeper into your practice, and yoga will provide community, alleviate stress, provide healing, and even take you to new places.
When your yoga at home routine moves beyond a physical practice and into a mental and spiritual one, it becomes a lifestyle creating a world of new possibilities filled with mindfulness and light.
We’re uncovering three benefits of turning your yoga practice into a lifestyle and not just a physical exercise:
Yoga improves emotional wellbeing
Most people begin yoga for the physical benefits, but they continue because of the mental and emotional benefits. If you ask any consistent yoga practitioner, they’ll tell you it makes them happier, less stressed, less anxious, mindful, and compassionate.
Practicing yoga at home helps alleviate the physical symptoms of stress, like the tension you might carry in your back and neck. But it goes deeper than your muscle tissue. Yoga is a mind-body practice that can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and lower your heart rate.
In fact, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
One study demonstrated the powerful effect of yoga on stress by following 24 women who perceived themselves as emotionally distressed. After a three-month yoga program, the women had significantly lower levels of cortisol. They also had lower levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
When used alone or with other methods of alleviating stress, such as meditation, yoga can be a powerful way to keep your emotions in check.
Yoga promotes mental healing
Beyond its ability to improve emotional wellbeing, research is beginning to uncover yoga’s therapeutic benefits for mental health concerns. Some research even shows yoga therapy to be an effective “prescription” for people who seek psychotherapy.
According to a recent Psychology Today article, yoga has been shown to reduce anger, reduce depression, improve sleep, decrease PTSD, and improve mental health by boosting a brain neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This is important because GABA levels are statistically low in people who experience substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
The physical practice, of course, helps to promote strength, endurance, and flexibility. However, sustained mindfulness practices can lead to life-perspective changes, self-awareness, and an improved energy sense to live life to the fullest.
Yoga at home can lead you to new places
Sure, right now the prospect of travel may seem far away. But, if you maintain your practice at home, you are expanding your horizons for the time we can all explore our world again.
Yoga and travel go hand in hand, each facilitating and deepening the other. By taking different classes taught by new-to-you teachers in unfamiliar places, you’ll expose yourself to different types of yoga and teaching styles that you wouldn’t get by sticking to your favorite class back at home.
Not only will interacting with these local and foreign yogis deepen your travel experience (you’ll meet some incredible, inspirational people), but it will also strengthen your recognition of how yoga and travel can connect us all.
You’ll dig deeper, discovering what resonates with you, what doesn’t, and what truly feeds your mind, body, and soul. This will help reinforce your understanding of yoga and how you want it to play a role in your life.
In the meantime, try connecting to different yogis via zoom or YogaToday classes and expand your horizons by practicing at home yet traveling far and wide in your yoga community
A regular yoga practice provides incredible physical benefits such as improved strength and flexibility. But when it becomes more than a physical exercise – a lifestyle – it becomes so much more.
At Yoga Today, we encourage you to take a step deeper into your practice. Connect with the yoga community and allow it to take you to new places. Comment below how yoga has been more than just a physical practice for you.