Yoga can seem intimidating if you don’t know much about it. Some people look at a yoga class at their local gym or talk to a yoga instructor for a moment and are either intimidated because they think they’ve got to be pretzel-flexible or because they just don’t quite get it at first. No matter where you are starting out from, yoga is one of the best tools for helping young women to live the best life possible, and in this post, I hope to share why I love yoga so much.
Coming to the West
Yoga became a fitness craze in the 1970s when a lot of people found out that ancient Indian wrestling exercises coupled with a few eastern beliefs and individual breathing exercises could completely transform their lives. The craze has long since died down, with yoga taking on a special meaning for generations of people in the west. But despite it no longer being the “in the thing,” yoga’s timelessness can help you in so many ways, once you get past any preconceptions, you may be carrying around with you.
So Many Styles of Yoga
It can be tempting to assume that “all yoga is this” or “that is the ONLY way you could possibly do yoga,” but this is so limiting it’s crazy! There is undoubtedly a style of yoga that will benefit you if you simply try it out, and let it be what it is. With roots that go back thousands of years, yoga has something in it to benefit everyone.
Iyengar yoga is a great example. It isn’t super fast and does not require you to go into a sweltering room, but it does help you to delve deeply into the poses. I find that really getting into a pose helps me to both work with an intention for the practice and to really get my hips and spine into alignment. This is so great because, in the modern world, it is easy to get out of line physically and not even know it.
Kundalini yoga is another great option that is a little less talked about than other styles of yoga. Kundalini teaches that inside your body, there is a spiritual snake. I know it sounds odd, but to uncoil this “energy snake” inside you can help you to be healthier and more aware overall. It can even be kind of a sensual experience, and a great practice can work up a very pleasant sweat.
The World of Mindfulness
A lot of people talk about the flexibility aspect of yoga, but this is only one of the great benefits. The one I have struggled with the most is that as a modern woman I am just so stuck in my head most of the time. Mindfulness and setting an intention helps me to work on really being in this moment and where I really am, instead of trying to plan every single aspect of my day and where I’m going 5 years from now. Yoga helps me to stay grounded.