Everywhere we look, we see something that reminds us of mind-body practices. While yoga has been around for thousands of years, it has become so very popular in many western cultures and we’re all starting to learn that we can literally improve our moods and mentalities from a regular yoga practice. Commercials show us people practicing yoga to tell us that they offer good health, and clothing manufacturers use yoga as a way to sell their merchandise. Like many others, I have been influenced by all of these media messages and have experienced the bliss of practicing yoga.
As a wife and a mom, I like to share what I learn with my family. Any time I find something that works well for me, I immediately want to give it to my children and my husband so they can experience the same benefits that I experience. Yoga is no different, it’s an experience that I try to share with my family. Yoga is good for the whole family and everyone can find an improved state of well-being from engaging in a regular yoga practice.
When I first introduced the idea to my husband, he laughed and told me he was not flexible and wouldn’t be “good at yoga.” I explained to him that my yoga teacher said there’s no such thing as being good or bad at yoga. It’s a practice for everyone and the key is to know how to modify the poses. We started with some standing poses and I showed him warrior 2 modifications that made it easier for him to find stability in the posture. He started to build his confidence.
My kids loved yoga right away, and they had very little resistance to learning the practice. I started with teaching them sun salutations and then we worked our way down to the mat. I tried to do some seated twists with them. We had to modify many of them, but once they learned Bharadvajasana modifications, I could see their enthusiasm build. They now ask me if we can practice without me even initiating.
There are so many benefits of yoga, and learning these benefits firsthand is what really inspired me to keep practicing. Yoga can improve your quality of sleep, reduce pain and inflammation in the body, increase digestive hormones, aid in the digestion of food, improve lung capacity, increase flexibility, increase endurance, increase strength and improve balance among many other benefits. The more regularly you practice, the more you will experience these benefits.
Traditionally, yoga was intended to be practiced first thing in the morning. It would help to energize the yoga practitioner for the day and ease the body and mind of tension and troubles before beginning the day. However, in modern times, people practice yoga any time of the day that they can squeeze a practice in. It isn’t really so important when you practice, but more important that you practice with a consistent frequency and schedule.