Yoga is all the rage these days. It seems to be everywhere you turn: books, DVDs, classes, etc. It’s easy to get started with a regular yoga practice, but why should you? You can probably think of the obvious ones: increased flexibility, looking better naked, etc, but what are the surprising benefits of yoga?
1. Yoga Promotes Increased Clarity
We live in a busy world. We are inundated with a variety of messages from advertisers, political candidates, significant others, just to name a few. All of that can become overwhelming to be sure, but the amount of external chatter pales in comparison to the sheer overwhelming volume of internal mind chatter.
Don’t believe us? Then try this exercise: for one whole day, write down every single thought you have from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. And no, we aren’t going to be held responsible for the carpal tunnel.
How do you get anything done with that kind of noise running through your head? You don’t. Or if you do, you don’t get near as much done as you need to. No matter how hard you try, it never seems to be enough, and you can’t focus for very long no matter how hard you try.
But not if you do yoga regularly. Practicing yoga on a consistent basis allows the practice to become an increasingly meditative practice. The more meditation you do, the clearer your mind gets. Some people have this idea that meditation is a “hippy dippy” activity and that it only works for people who have a certain philosophical outlet. We’re here to tell you that isn’t the case. Meditation is simply a way of training your mind, like going to the gym trains your body. You can meditate and be in the NRA, but that’s a whole other column.
The point is that yoga gets you more in tune with your mind and your body, and that results in greater personal alignment with who you truly are and what you truly want. Regular yoga will quiet your mind and allow you to focus more and for longer periods of time and get you in touch with your true thoughts.
2. Better Sex
The makers of the “Better Sex Through Yoga” DVD series hit the nail on the head. More yoga equals better sex. And longer sex too. For men, it can help increase sexual stamina, reduce pain in areas of the body used during sex and for both genders it can help increase libido overall. With a regular yoga practice, you’re always in the mood and there’s nothing sexier than doing yoga with your partner. Especially at home. Alone. Without clothing.
3. Reduced Stress & Depression
Face it. Modern living is many things, but easy isn’t one of them. The economy, the news report, credit problems, waiting in long lines and just plain being stuck in traffic can really get your stress levels going and keep them going. Your stress levels are simply a throwback to the “fight or flight” response our ancestors had each time they came into contact with a Woolly Mammoth who wanted to eat them. It would spike temporarily but then it would drop down to normal levels after the threat had passed.
We don’t face the threat of animals who want to eat us anymore, but we do face job layoffs, salary reductions, and a host of real and perceived stressors. And unlike the Woolly Mammoth, these stresses never really go away. They’re always hanging out in the background of our minds, whether they exist or not. And that kind of stress can kill us or lead to depression or both.
This plays havoc on our bodies and our minds. We simply aren’t designed to withstand this kind of constant stress levels in our bodies. And often we can’t remove these stressors from our lives, so we have to change how we react to them.
Enter yoga. Yoga helps us deal with stress and it releases endorphins that boost our mood and can cure depression, over time. Studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can be as effective if not more effective that the anti-depressants your doctor can prescribe, and without all the negative side effects.