I haven’t ever been the person to set aside time to exercise, so when my friend Tara basically forced me to go to yoga, I was not excited. Imagine my surprise when I loved it. Now we go at least once a week, or I practice at home.
Now, I will be the first person to tell you that I have never been a huge fan of saying “exercise is a stress reliever,” but yoga is different. Yes, it’s exercise, but the word yoga literally means union. As in union of your mind, body and breath. Yoga is more than exercise in that you really have to focus on bringing your entire being into union and focusing on not falling on your butt.
Yoga has hundreds of different schools, or types, but basically yoga focuses on breathing exercises, meditation in some form and contorting yourself into poses. In every yoga class I have ever been in, your main focus is not on whether or not you have achieved a perfect pose; the main focus is on making sure your breath is in line with your movements. Your pose doesn’t always have to be perfect and you don’t have to be the most flexible person in the world.
“Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration,” Natalie Nevins, an osteopathic family physician (which means she and her patients focus using the body’s natural tendency toward healing itself instead of traditional medicines) and a yoga instructor, said.
Besides being great for your mental health, yoga obviously offers some wonderful physical benefits, including: increased flexibility, weight loss, better muscle tone and strength, better breathing and more energy, according to osteopathic.org.
“Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia,” according to Dr. Nevins.
So basically, you have no reason not to do yoga. And listen, I know all the excuses, “I’m not flexible,” “I don’t like to exercise,” “I can’t get in all those poses!” “I don’t have time,” etc., etc. There is such a thing as a beginner yoga class. They don’t require you to be the most flexible person ever nor do they ask you to stand on your head. Plus, yoga sessions are usually only an hour or slightly longer, so really, if you can carve out time to scroll on through all your social media apps, you can carve out time to do yoga.
Russellville offers some great yoga studios. Personally, I attend Serenity Yoga, which is located in the Old Mall; Sole2Soul is another yoga studio, which is located in downtown Russellville next to Rendezvous. But most gyms that have classes offer a yoga class. Arkansas Tech University also offers yoga, times vary.
There are too many health benefits linked to yoga for you to not try it at least once.