What are the benefits of yoga? Why practice yoga?

Yoga has helped me to:

  • become more calm
  • sleep better
  • have regular digestion
  • less pain
  • less stiff
  • make better decisions
  • be less greedy
  • keep perspective
  • have deeper connections
  • less worry / anxiety
  • and on and on …

But if a prospective new student asks me “what are the benefits of yoga?” I am hesitant to list any benefits at all. I don’t want to make empty promises or give a false impression of yoga. I want the students to find their own way and make their own discoveries.

It’s very likely that if you stick with it you too will feel the transformational effects of yoga. But, after how long? How long do you have to practice before you have less anxiety, feel a better connection, can keep perspective? After one class? After three months? Six months? A year??? The truth is: I don’t know! It could be quick or it could take awhile.

Some people start doing yoga and take to it right away (like me). Others take one class and don’t return for months. Some take regularly for months and then stop for years. One thing I can say for sure? You definitely won’t feel transformed if you don’t make some kind of commitment.

Yoga asks us to make a commitment to the practice over a span of time, without interruption (no long gaps). That is why I ask students to commit to three month semesters. I want to encourage longevity. I want the practice to get into them so they find their own timeline and transformational path. And then their path will keep them on the path, not me or even the classes. Of course, they should still come to class. 🙂

Three pictures of my early morning practice. My kids see me practicing and they sometimes sit with me. They get the benefits of experiencing a few moments of quiet when they wake up.

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