I Hope You're Somewhere Praying

Good morning!! Thank you all for joining me on my blog page. This short blog is something I rarely write about or speak about in class.

As I wake on this fall Saturday morning, I find myself in fetal position as I do everyday. I fall asleep in fetal and wake up the same way.

I say a few prayers every night before bed. One is always the same since childhood. The others are random.

Most of us may have past conditioning and beliefs about prayer. I know I did. Some outdated, old beliefs of mine were that we had to go to church to pray. Now as adults, we make our own decisions and realize at whatever age that is not the case.

My heart knows that prayer exists and I can pray anywhere and anyway I want to whoever I choose. The first thing I needed to do was clear out toxic beliefs about prayer. I remember my grandmother always praying with rosary beads by her bed, in the living room and if I remember correctly, in her house coat and of course at mass.

I have not been to church in a long time. I have considered going back, I need to find the right place with a minister or priest that is open and current to this world we live in today.

Another belief was that prayers should be said at night, on my knees by my bed.

On this Saturday morning, if you wake up in fetal position with your prayer hands on your cheek you can say this short prayer to start your day:

“Allowing my life to be held by a Love that is greater than my own thinking, I am open to this love now”.

Having awareness that LOVE is holding you provides us with a deep sense of peace and connection to the world around us.

We are on a mission to heal whatever “stuff” we have going on from the past or present day. All of this, in my opinion is not possible without some kind of prayer.

When Kelsey was struck by a car on Labor Day, the prayers never stopped. I found myself repeatedly thanking whoever was watching over her. I said “Thank You” seven times. And it continues. Every night from then on.

There are so many things I am thankful for. The list is long, but seven just sticks with me.

No matter what religion, who you pray to or how you do it. Just do it!!

Thank you all for reading and have a great weekend!!

xoxoxo

Create. Take Risks. Live Your Passion.

Happy Friday!! Most of you are probably jumping for joy that it is the end of the “work week” and have been looking forward to it since Monday.

I remember feeling the same way towards the end of my career in the car business. Waking up every morning repeatedly saying “ugh, I don’t want to go, I wish I could work for myself”. “I wish I could just start my own business”. “I wish I was my own boss”. “I wish I had flexibility”. “I wish I could pick my kids up from school”.” I wish they would take my suggestions”. “ I wish I didn’t feel like a caged animal”. TRAPPED!!! For life.

I wish. I wish. I wish.

My wish came true with hard work, dedication, motivation and not giving up.

I did it. I did it. I did it.

And I f’in love it. Being a small business owner and a Wellness Advocate is the most gratifying career I have ever had. I truly love helping others. I love to use my creative mind and putting the ideas into place without approval. If it works, it works. If not, oh well. I will try again.

The best part is I am able to do what I want to do. Pick my kids up from school, attend games, cook dinner calmly, not relying on others to help and making my own schedule.

Most of you know that know me are fully aware that I do not sugar coat anything.

Being a small business owner is not easy. Being a small yoga studio owner is not all bare feet, pretty leggings and peace love and happiness. That’s for f’in sure.

But one thing is for certain, when people leave the studio smiling, laughing or crying with tears of joy, that is what makes me keep going everyday. That is what motivates me. It’s obviously and definitely not the money because in this business, it is very tough to make a profit. (at least at my very reasonable prices) But guess what? I am HAPPY.

I took a chance to do what I love. I broke free from the cage and put my creative mind, passion and heart to work and jumped in. I am no longer trapped and that feeling of being stuck is gone.

A few people this past week sent me messages or told me personally that they finally broke free from their cage!!! I am so proud of you ladies for following your heart. Congratulations!!

How many of you have that fear? Not the money fear but the fear of being stuck. TRAPPED. If you are feeling this way you need to think about that maybe feeling this way is a sign that your current job is a very TOXIC environment.

Ask yourself these questions, write them down in your journal:

  1. Do you get anxiety and sad every night thinking about going to work?

  2. Do you suffer from stress?

  3. Are you taking your stress and anger on others at home?

  4. Do you feel unappreciated?

  5. Are you lacking motivation?

  6. Do you dislike being told what to do?

  7. Are you mentally and physically exhausted?

  8. How long is your commute?

  9. Are you using all of your talents and creative abilities?

One of my main goals in this lifetime is to help others through yoga, learning, practicing, sharing and teaching how to live a natural, healthy, authentic lifestyle.

If you are feeling “stuck” in any way; practice yoga. If you are feeling stuck and looking to break free; send me a message either way.

Two years ago, I became a wholesale customer with doterra Essential Oils. I began using essential oils daily in many different ways. Then one day about 9 months ago, it dawned on me. How selfish can you be not sharing these life changing oils with people. So, I began to learn more, practice more, share more and teach more. And now I am building a team of people who are looking to do the same. Authentically. On their terms.

I am looking for two enthusiastic and motivated people to join my team to help share these gifts from nature so we can heal everyday. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. One drop at a time.

Are you passionate about healing and living a natural lifestyle? Are you motivated and driven? Do you love to help others and want to see others succeed?

I love being my own boss and so will you!!

Baby steps. Crawl. Walk. Run. Learn. Practice. Share. Teach.

Xoxoxox

Email: maribethwoodford@gmail.com


New Workshops at SUKHA

Today I announced a new teacher at SUKHA via email.

Lexy is a lover of humans, culture, astrology, holistic healing, traditional Chinese medicine, and plant based nutrition. Lexy found out at 20 years old she was called to share the healing powers of yoga. Since then she has accumulated 578 hours. She has learned under Jessie Haims, Dylan Werner, Matt Giordano, Benjamin Sears, Phillip and Ivy Askew, Abbie and Nevine Michaan from Katonah, Sam Vetrano of Bodhi Movement, Dana Falsetti, and Tina Bock. She is currently on working on becoming a Katonah teacher. A yoga influenced by Taoist beliefs. Putting the magic squares in the body, and viewing the body as a house. A house you can have party’s in, but being given the proper tools to clean the house up after you party. Getting good blood flow through the heart, oxygen to the lungs, detoxing the liver, and flushing the kidneys. She study’s birth chart reading in NYC with Shirley Soffer, and is reiki attuned.

Lexy’s will be teaching “Effort & Grace”-a meditative class that moves with the season every Monday at 9:30. This class will start with movement and heat-spring and summer, ending with restorative passive postures and guided meditation-autumn and winter.

Spring brings growth, summer allows the growth to ripen, autumn sheds layers, winter brings stillness to give nature a moment to be still so it can be re-born.

Lexy will be holding her first workshop at SUKHA Saturday, November 10 at 10:30 am. Details will be posted soon. Stay Tuned.

Please welcome Lexy to the SUKHA Community.

We are all creatures of habit. Keep in mind that by attending different classes with different teachers will introduce you to new poses that work different muscles and challenge your body in different ways. Your form will improve and you may discover a whole new style that you will love. And the best reason why you should take all of the teachers classes: You will add another positive, caring person to your life that will guide you through the most life changing practice in the world!

Now I would like to announce the two amazing workshops that will be added to the schedule.

Teachings of Katonah Yoga

For this workshop Lexy will introduce the teachings of katonah yoga ™. Katonah is a style of yoga created by Nevine Michaan using Taoist theory by putting the magic squares in your body. Nevine specializes in body reading and teaches this to her students. During a body reading you will learn which area of your body needs more attention so you can get the full effect out of your poses. We create patterns in life that manipulate our posture. This method of yoga will help you bring consciousness on where center is. One example; when you twist in low lunge do you feel like your lungs are compacted? If so, you’re not at true center. Your lungs should feel open and free. We can work on this. Working on your weaknesses and giving a break to strengths so they don’t become your weakness. For example wrist pain. Do you ever try flipping your wrist for a yoga flow? This can prevent pain and injury. This gives your strength a time breath, and builds on your weakness to support your strength. Lexy has trained 20 hours under Katonah and is plans on becoming a
Katonah instructor in the future. In this workshop she will go though a short flow to see where each individuals body has manipulated their center. Hand out materials, show a video, and body read in either mountain pose, reverse namaste, and seated bound angle pose. So you get a idea of where center is. This article is written by Abbie Galvin one of the teachers Nevine has trained. See article below.
This workshop will be held Saturday, November 10 at 10:30 am. The cost is $25

Birth Chart Interpretations Novice Level Workshop

Do you ever get asked what your moon sign is and have no idea what’s being said? Do you feel like you don’t resonate with your sun sign, and have no idea what a birth chart is? Or have a deep curiosity of which planet represents and how it effects you? Then this workshop is for you! In this workshop Lexy will give you explanations on the planets, the houses, and how to better understand your chart. You will given proper tools to be able to go home and understand your chart more. This will not be a birth chart reading, but birth guidance. Please bring in a print out of your birth chart. Time and location of birth are important to know! You can get your birth chart from website below by clicking “birth chart”

This workshop will be held Sunday, January 13 at 12:00 pm $25

These will be on the SUKHA APP. Please pay in advance to hold your spot. Katonah Yoga will be capped at 10.

A Better Boat

It’s that time of year again but this year I decided not to count the minutes, the days or the months that I have been here on this earth. (But I may do a cute post with a sign that says how many months old I am) ha

Counting just makes it seem that much longer and make the hand on the clock move that much faster. I am learning to try and slow the fuck down. I breathe in, I breathe out.

I started writing this blog a few days before my 47th birthday. For the simple reason of time. It flies by, there is not enough of it, time is precious, of the essence, an illusion, on my side, it heals wounds, time is not wasted if you enjoy doing what you are doing. And that is EXACTLY it. I am enjoying everything that I am doing.

This past year I have learned so much personally and professionally. I have dug deep and looked on the inside on what I needed to work on, what my triggers are and the things I need to fix to continue to evolve. And I have done the same with others. I have felt their energy, sadness and fear, happiness and relief, bitterness and resentment. Authenticity and fake. It was a year of digging, learning and clearing. I have increased awareness to interpret myself and others much deeper than before on so many different levels. And I wanted to share what I have learned during year 46.

Lately, it has been the onion and the mask. Reading, thinking and trying to figure it all out. Let’s remove the first layer of the onion my friends. Take off the mask. Behave and appear the same everyday and everywhere. Stop hiding your authentic self. Although I have seen many “true colors shining through” this last year. Do the inner work!! Once you dig you will realize what a great person you are. Lose the ego. Peel back the layers and be yourself. Stop following the crowds, and show up where you want, when you want and most importantly walk in without a mask. Throw it in the trash. Because guess what? That is exactly where it belongs.. And I don’t give a shit what town or county you live in or what car you drive or how big your house is. You are all amazing, beautiful beings. Show the real you. Thinka bout this...After the mask comes off, begin peeling off all of the layers. What's left?

" I ain't lonely, but I spend a lot of time alone. More than I'd like too. But I'm okay with staying home. My how the last few months have changed. I'm smiling more despite the pain"

Yes!! I am not sure what happened. From extrovert to introvert!! I am actually proud to have this come out of mouth. Most treat introverts as weird  or a personality trait. Some just get physically exhausted by spending a lot of time with other people. I have found that I need alone time to rest and recharge so I can continue to do what I do everyday. I sit and enjoy life without being in constant motion with others. Maybe it's because I am now 100% aware and tapped into those who are authentic and those who are not and I prefer to be around authenticity. I choose wisely.

Happy Hump Day, July 18th. I am back continuing the blog for what I have learned during year 46.There is so much I want to write and it may just be a mish mosh of crap so bare with me.

Let’s go back to 1973. I was two years old and I specifically remember watching The Wizard of Oz belly down with my hands under my chin, close to the big, old school, hand channel changer tv with 2, 4,5, 7, 11 and 13. I buried my head everytime that scary, green faced, screechy wicked witch with those cheesy long ass nails would come on the screen. It didn't take so long for me to stare at the screen and look her straight in the eyes. After 45 years of watching this movie over and over again I always found a new meaning. A deeper meaning. But nothing as deep as this amazing book I discovered just a few months ago. I have shared it in class but feel the need to share it today, on my 47th Birthday. This movie is a part of me. It always was and always will be.

“It is a story we remember, believe, and cherish in our hearts. To each generation, the story rises and blooms anew in the psyche. It is a story invested with all of our potentials and highest ideals, as well as our shadows and terrors.  It speaks to the basic human need for companionship. It is innocent and sincere. As it remembers a golden age in our past, it simultaneously portrays a technological golden age in the immediate future. We find the security of place, the assurance that we have in us a sufficiently of capacities to confront evil and survive, and the ability to trust in our own enormous untapped potentials.  Then, like Dorothy, we can come back and re-green the wasteland, the Kansas of our lives. We are OZ. In any mythic structure we may identify with the hero, but in truth we contain all of the characters. Dorothy might be any one of us. Or we might be the Tin Man in our longing to feel loving connections, the Scarecrow seeking our true intelligence, or the Cowardly Lion seeking courage. We contain the Great and Powerful Wizard. What would happen if we dared to dip into this high and holy magic within ourselves??”-The Wizard of Us.

This movie has so many lessons that so many of us can learn from and The Wizard of Us is one book that I am learning from everyday. It just makes sense to me. I can relate 100%.

For many years on this earth, I cared so much of what others thought of me. The last few, specifically this last I have finally removed that completely out of my head. It no longer exists. Theo Roosevelt said it best “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do” That is character!”

I have taken the time to really figure out who I would like in my life. Those who I value, respect and trust and those who respect and value me just the same. Those who are real, who lead and don’t follow. The people who can understand and accept decisions I have made or need to make and some were harder than others that’s for sure. Each decision has been a true lesson and wake up call that goes back to wearing masks and living a truly authentic life. I have made a commitment to myself to send only love, kindness and sympathy to those who portrayed themselves to be something they are not. I have let go of the situations that have occured. From phony emails and phone calls to cards and letters blowing smoke up my ass saying how much I changed their lives and then once things didn’t go their way; the real people under those masks appeared.

“A balanced individual is free to make the choice to change something if they’re comfortable with feedback that may be unflattering”-Wayne Dyer

Oh boy, did I get feedback. Ha ha.

I will continue to go on a rampage of appreciation rather than discussing the evils of the world and take every opportunity to continue to radiate joy whether you are on my side or not. Today, as I am approaching my 47th birthday I am sending nothing but hug and kisses to the evils of my world and everyday hope that halos are given and pitchforks are thrown in the trash along with the masks. Thank you for the lessons.

Boundaries.

Now this has taken a long time for sure and I am still working on it and the first step has been to practice self-awareness personally and professionally. SUKHA is a place of business and not a free for all. I will no longer allow a student or teacher to dictate or demand how I operate. I am always open to suggestions and there is now a suggestion box in the studio. In the beginning of my journey I have let too much get by. I have had past students drive to my house and threaten me if I raised prices, I have had negative comments thrown at me if I did not come around with oils, etc...Of course we all know people such as these have so much inner work to do. They just don’t seem to get the true meaning of yoga. With that being said, in November of 2017, I had felt like I failed as a teacher. With the number one thing coming to mind-”Did they not listen to ANY of my dharma talks? Holy shit, all the time and preparation and they still don’t get it but that’s okay. I get it now. I now fully understand that not everyone thinks they have healing to do and that many only think of yoga for the physical benefit or a social hour. Some people make situations so easy to walk away from. (Especially when you have a bird chirping in your ear front and center that likes to stir the pot)

I will continue to share even if some don’t fully understand the real reason why I am here

and what I am teaching and sharing. I congratulate everyone of my students who are on their authentic journey and practice yoga for the work-in.

As far as the personal boundaries go, well; I believe I am almost there with certain people that will unfortunately be in my life for a long time.

"I breathe in. I breathe out. What ain't working, what's still hurting. All the things I feel like cussing out."

Always remember, no person, no place, and no thing has any power over you, for you are the only thinker in the situations you create. When you create peace, harmony and balance in your mind you will find it in your life.
 

Competition.

It is only a word. Something I do not want to participate in. When I first opened SUKHA I was expecting peace, love and happiness from all and that was not the case. But again. That’s okay.  When it comes to the “C” word the best thing for me to do is mind my own business and that is exactly how I operate. I still struggle with others stealing Intellectual Property. Everyday I try to now to send peace to those who can’t seem to think for themselves, it’s been challenging, but I’m getting there. I am always flattered, but it still gets me heated. The hours and time brainstorming for someone else to steal? Ugh.

From the bottom of my heart, all yogis are welcome to SUKHA to practice. Not to spy,or have any alternative motive but to practice. And keep in the back of your mind that SUKHA is not only for beginners and we leave egos at the door and continue to keep it real. On the mat and off. On the screen and off. My wish is for yoga instructors all over the world to share this beautiful practice with as many people as possible and from the  heart, I wish you all nothing but the best on this magical, yet challenging venture. Always remember to be yourself. Teach how you want to teach and what feels right to you. Be your authentic self and teach that way. Let go of the script and teach from your heart. Your book and your lessons. Make people smile.

Healing.

Even at this age I am healing every freakin day. Healing from old wounds, present day bruises and learning to accept things that I can’t change.

I am trying to figure myself out and this is just the emotional healing. What I have learned is that any physical problems are caused from emotional issues that we carry and hold on to and I have many. This year I have found the root cause of a few and have found ways to heal through juice, essential oils, and making a change to my diet and letting go and removing blockages caused by people, places, and food.

To end this mish mosh of a blog, I would like to end with this:

I am proud of my flaws and I have so many and I will continue to work on them everyday.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

“We are each responsible for all of our experiences.

Every thought we think is our future.

The point of power is always in the present moment.

Everyone suffers from self-hatred and guilt.

The bottom line for everyone is, “I’m not good enough”.

It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.

We create every so-called illness in our body.

Resentment, criticism, and guilt are the most damaging patterns.

Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.

We must release the past and forgive everyone.

We must be willing to begin to learn to love ourselves.

Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are keys to positive change.

When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”-Louise Hay

Thank you for reading, learning, practicing and sharing with me everyday. It’s going to be a great ride and I wouldn’t jump off just yet if I were you. :)

"I think I'm stronger than I was. I breathe in, I breathe out. I got friends to call who let me talk about. What ain't working, what'still hurting. All the things I feel like cussing out. Now and then I let go around the waves I can't control. I'm learning how to build a better boat"-Kenny Chesney

Listen to it here. It's a good one! (Amy may even like it) :)

 

 

How Two Text Messages Made My Day

This Tuesday after my 9:30 am class, as always I am so f'in happy and feeling; well; pretty f'in good. We all chat after class for a few minutes about stuff. Lots of stuff. Celery, oils, kids, and life in general. After everyone left and I ventured over to see Alison at her new store a few doors down. And what a beautiful store it is BTW.

As we were chatting I received a text message. A very, very, nice text message. At first I was confused as to why I was getting it.

As I was driving home, another message came through. Another very, very, nice text message. I said to myself "WTF"! What did I do? What did I say? I honestly could not think of why I received two sweet text messages within 2 hours. I checked my social media accounts to see what I posted. I was still confused. Normal stuff. Yoga, me, sharing what I am learning and sharing. Whatever it was; those messages made me feel really good. (Text is at bottom of blog)

Both of these text messages did not come from people who practice at SUKHA. One has been twice, and the other has never been to Brick.

Then I thought about it. Mabye it was the posts and what I was sharing.

Why am I sharing this? Well, you see I teach yoga because I want people to feel good no matter what age, size or what they wear. I am sharing the practice and other practices that I am doing or in the process of doing so we can all live the healthiest and happiest life. 

Shit, it isn't easy as we age, but we need to prevent aging and illness the best we can. Whatever I learn, I share in class or on social media. I may post three times a day or I may not post for a few days. Sometimes the post may get 30 likes sometimes 111. The numbers do not matter to me. What matters is that the post about yoga, a quote, food, oils, skin care, or my son playing a sport reaches people. Reaching people to learn, practice, to be healthy, happy and grow. My posts come from the heart and I say it like it is. Sometimes it may come out harsh or bitchy but it all depends on how it is being read and by who.

If I post a quote, it means something to me and I feel it may strike a cord with someone else. 

By sharing your stories, experiences and lessons you have learned you are providing an opportunity for people to learn. You can take what you want, ask questions,  and choose what you want to act upon. 

LEARN-APPLY-SHARE-TEACH but do it AUTHENTICALLY. Your way. Authenticity is meant to be imperfect. If you mess up, that's okay. If you can't do a pose, that's okay. If you have a crappy day; well, WE ALL DO. Even the Instagram Famous have bad days.They may not post it, or some write way too much. Authenticity is not an image. Authenticity for some is still having a closed heart chakra that won't bust open, dropping the F Bomb often, working hard, being slightly selfish at times and forgetting to call your mother back. 

Own your life. Own your experiences and own how you feel about those experiences.

Tips from others and experiences are all around us. Everyone has a story  that we can learn and grow from. Some will come from people with years of experience, and others that are just learning and sharing as they go along. :) 

What you think is a minor aspect of your story might just be exactly what someone else needs to move forward.

So, be authentic, learn, apply what you learn, share and teach. Remember this is not only pertaining to yoga. Although yoga is LIFE. Practice, learn, apply and share on what you learn about life.

Before I close, I want to say that I have been posting and saying for years BE YOU. I came across a note/quote that says " I would say to be yourself, but it's too cliche', so instead I will say to own yourself, and to own your life"

Thank you again to the two amazing women who sent me the text messages. Although we live in the same town and we don't see each other all that much; you are AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL! 

be happy

be healthy

be strong

own yourself,

xoxox

 

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Living In The NOW

You read it, hear it and see it everywhere.

"Live in the present moment".

Blah. Blah. Blah. Rolling eyes I am sure. 

And I have done the same thing until I starting reading" The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

This past week was one for the books. Living in the now. Because as Eckhart says "nothing exists outside the now" How f'in true is that? NOTHING EXISTS OUTSIDE THE NOW.

Currently, I am typing by the fireplace on a cold, Saturday night in January. Nothing else is going on but exactly this. Just typing. My mind is focused on this blog and nothing else. 

Try to grasp this..

"Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now".

"Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.".

Get it? Chances are; probably not. I didn't until this past week really making a effort to be in the now with everything. From cooking dinner (which I did every day), driving kids, attending games, teaching, writing dharmas, running a studio, cleaning the house, doing laundry and making time for my BF; STRESS FREE. Not thinking. Just doing. I did have a list of groceries to buy for the awesome, healthy meals I cooked all week. But I did not stress about when I was going to get to the store. No plan, no stressing. I went in the NOW.

Tolle says "The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being".

It sure does. 

Not just me. This week the kids were happy, focused, helpful and fed!! ha ha all week.

Maybe it was the healthy meals we had all week or just maybe it was the energy that I was giving. Whatever it was, The Power of Now worked and I am going to try my best every day to live just like this.

Don't get me wrong; I have focused on living in the present and I think I have done a pretty good job, but it has been challenging. How can it not be with a crazy schedule with kids and yoga and everything else in my life.

"I don't have the time"!!! How many times have we said this to our kids, our husbands, boyfriends, friends, co-workers and ourselves? At least 5-10 times a day.

We must "END THE DELUSION OF TIME".

Here is the key from Tolle: End the delusion of time. Time and mind are inseparable. Remove time from the mind and it stops-unless you choose to use it.

To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates preoccupation with the past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.

Well, my friends I will not go any further. This book is a must read. It is inspiring, spiritual, and pretty intense.

Just wanted to share.

Enjoy your Saturday evening!

xoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

18 Benefits of Yoga According to Science

I have written about the benefits of yoga many times and one of my blogs reached a writer at Jen Reviews.

Jenn contacted me with a more detailed and updated guide on 18 amazing health benefits of yoga that I would like to share with as many people as possible.

Read it, save it and share it.

Enjoy!

Thank you Jenn! Read Jen's blog about making everyday healthy choices by liking her page on Facebook @jenreviews

Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art.

Science has proven that yoga can have a transformative effect on the body, resulting in everything from lowered blood pressure to disease prevention. Here are some of the many health benefits of yoga, as proven by science.

1. Regular Yoga Practice Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Almost every benefit that comes from regularly practicing yoga stems from the activity’s proven stress-reducing properties.

Stress has become the norm in our everyday society. With high-pressure careers, children’s demanding schedules, and little time to focus on self-care, more adults than ever are experiencing dangerously high levels of stress.

Those who experience frequent stress and anxiety are at a higher risk for clinical depression, high blood pressure, chronic disease, insomnia, and a host of other problems. When the body becomes regularly anxious or stressed, it may never get the signal to return to normal functioning.

This can lead to a prolonged ‘fight or flight’ response that is incredibly draining on the body and the mind.

Preliminary research shows that practicing yoga can have the same stress-reducing effects such as exercise and relaxation techniques, which makes sense because it is essentially the combination of the two.

The controlled breathing that is inherent in practicing yoga is probably the biggest factor in reducing stress. When focused on breathing, participants have little room to engage in irrational fear, worry, or other obsessive thoughts, many of which are contributing to their stress levels.

Yoga also helps increase mindfulness and the focus on gratitude, both of which help to ease anxiety.

When we take the time to practice yoga, we are taking time to care for ourselves. This has taken a back seat in our current culture, and yoga can teach us to get back to basics.

Focusing just 20 to 30 minutes a day on the self-healing practice of yoga can then lead to other beneficial activities. It can be a gateway to a more calm, focused life.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on breathing and increasing mindfulness and focus on gratitude.

2. Practicing Yoga Improves Cardiovascular Health

Heart health is crucial to our overall wellness. Hypertension and coronary blockage leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

Relaxation is incredibly helpful when it comes to heart health as it relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the heart. Because of its combination of breathing, meditation, and slow controlled movement, yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises on the planet.

Yoga, especially the more energetic forms, also increases the heart rate. This makes it as beneficial to your heart as any other form of exercise. In fact, yoga may actually lower the risk of heart disease as much as traditional exercise such as brisk walking.

Those who are interested in the cardio benefits of yoga should try out the more active forms such as ashtanga yoga, which provide more of a bump in heart rate than other forms. They might also consider pairing a vigorous form of yoga in the morning with a relaxing form in the evening to provide more stress-reducing and sleep benefits.

Individuals who have suffered a heart attack or are recovering from other heart-related issues also benefit from yoga. Because they are unable to perform more strenuous exercises such as jogging or bicycling, the low-key and less strenuous poses of yoga give them the exercise they need without taxing their already strained heart muscle.

In addition, those who have suffered a cardiac event also benefit from the stress-reducing effects of yoga. Having a life-threatening heart attack or stroke can induce acute emotional stress, which continues to have a negative effect on the heart even after the event is over.

Those who have heart-related illnesses often have to face the fact that they have a life-altering condition. This can often cause grief or depression, both of which are proven to be eased by yoga.

Bottom Line: Yoga improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, offering relaxation benefits, and increasing blood flow to the heart. It’s also beneficial for those recovering from a heart attack.

3. Yoga Strengthens Brain Activity

As we age, our brains change. Certain parts, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, shrink. Because these areas are crucial to our learning, memory, planning and other mental activities,

This can lead to frustrating memory lapses, inability to focus, and a struggle to retain new information. In extreme cases, in can even lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Not surprisingly, yoga promotes a more focused, calmer mind through its controlled breathing and focus on relaxation. What may come as a surprise, though, is that yoga can actually change the physical makeup of your brain matter.

Using MRI scans, scientists have detected more cells in certain brain areas of those who practiced yoga regularly. Yoga practitioners had larger brain volume in their somatosensory cortex, visual cortex, hippocampus, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These areas are in charge of visualization, concept of self, and directing attention.

Scientists attribute these benefits to the focused breathing in yoga, which maximizes oxygenation and blood flow to the brain. These benefits also led to fewer depressive symptoms and increased memory performance in practitioners.

The happier and more positive thoughts that flow from yoga can also help change the chemical composition of the brain and ‘rewire’ it to focus more on positive thoughts.

When we break the habit of reacting to stressful events with anxiety and negative thoughts, which yoga helps us do, we encourage the mind to embrace more beneficial thinking. This helps us embrace the present moment and let go of harmful anxiety.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase brain matter in various areas of the brain, leading to better memory, less depression and more focus. It also helps rewire the brain for positivity and promotes a calm mind.

4. Practicing Yoga Can Lower the Risk of Cancer

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, one of four deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to some form of cancer.

Practicing yoga may prevent the genetic mutation from expressing in those who have a family history of cancer. This means that it can have powerful cancer prevention properties. It can also help reduce fat stores in the body, which reduces the likelihood of cancer developing and spreading.

Chronic stress, which yoga helps to reduce, weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to diseases like cancer. It can also enable cancer cells to grow and spread as it increases negative hormones and certain growth factors.

The stress-busting quality of yoga can boost your immune system and regulate hormones, both important cancer-fighting tools.

In addition to cancer prevention, a regular yoga practice with the soothing music from yoga DVDs can also help those who are battling cancer by lowering inflammation, boosting energy, and lifting the mood. One study showed that regularly practicing yoga for three months was effective in improving the negative moods of those undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Cancer treatments can also cause fatigue and zap strength in those undergoing them. Yoga has proven beneficial in combating these symptoms and can improve range of motion in patients and help them stay limber and active.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help prevent cancer by reducing fat stores and preventing genetic mutation expression. It can also assist those undergoing cancer treatments by keeping them limber and boosting energy.

5. The Deep Breathing and Poses of Yoga Improve Digestion

Devotees of yoga believe that all health begins in the gut. If we are digesting food, air, water, and energy properly, every other part of the body and mind suffer.

Yoga improves our body’s internal rhythms, which assist in how we digest and detoxify. Even if you don’t currently suffer from any outward signs of impaired digestion, increasing our body’s ability to remove toxins is extremely beneficial.

Many people suffer from poor digestion and constipation. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to colon cancer and other diseases.

Still others have developed chronic digestion disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. These disorders can have a serious impact on our quality of life.

Relying on laxatives or other interventions is not a good way to combat digestive issues, and many find that a high fiber diet is not enough to resolve their issues. That’s where yoga can come in handy.

Deep breathing, the cornerstone of all yoga practices, is like a mild massage for the digestive tract. Breathing brings life force into the body, and helps cleanse it of dangerous toxins.

There are also a number of different poses, such as the peacock and nauli, that are designed specifically to get waste moving through and out of your body. Many of these are best done in the morning on an empty stomach and after a glass of warm water with lemon.

In addition to being helpful for improved digestion on its own, the practice of yoga also encourages individuals to take care of themselves with a healthier diet, more rest, and fewer processed foods and beverages.

The increase in self-care helps not only with digestion, but with feeling good as a whole.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps move toxins through the body with deep breathing and specific poses aimed at improving digestion.

6. Those Who Practice Yoga Are More Aware of What’s Going on in Their Bodies

The term ‘body awareness’ can take many forms, each of which can be enhanced by the practice of yoga.

As we grow into adults, most of us start losing touch with our bodies as matters of the mind take over. We focus so much on our thoughts and feelings, we forget about the mind-body connection and how powerful it is.

This can lead to a reduction in the enjoyment of simple pleasures such as the feel of the sun on our face, or the warm breeze across our skin.

It can also lead to a disconnection between ourselves and our bodies. As we age, this disconnection becomes more pronounced, which is why we often hear of seniors experiencing more falls and accidents than their younger counterparts.

When we’re aware of and connected to our bodies as we step into our yoga pants, we’re able to better enjoy the present moment and understand what impact it has on us both physically and mentally.

Yoga brings body awareness to the forefront. Each pose is focused on one or more body parts and as we breathe in and out, we are only only aware of that breath but also of the part of the body we are currently stretching.

Yoga is also based on being aware of what your body is and is not capable of. Because no pose should be forced, those who are practicing yoga must listen to their body and make adjustments based on what it is telling them.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase the mind-body connection. This enhances enjoyment of the present, and also encourages us to be more in tune with how our bodies move.

7. Yoga Practice Lowers Sugar Levels in the Blood, Decreasing Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is an epidemic that is becoming quite common in the United States. A condition that is triggered by high blood sugar, either due to lack of insulin production in the body or the body’s lack of response to insulin, diabetes can lead to a dependence on medication, amputations, or even death.

Type 1 diabetes tends to develop in childhood or early adulthood and is usually genetic while type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood and is often a product of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Along with lowering blood pressure and keeping weight in check, yoga helps with diabetes by reducing the levels of sugar in the blood, all of which help slow the rate of progression and lessen the severity of complications.

Though it’s a more gentle form of exercise than most people are used to, yoga still provides a workout. The boost in heart rate experienced by yoga practitioners can improve glucose metabolism and increase insulin sensitivity, both beneficial to diabetes sufferers.

Cravings for sweets is a common symptom of diabetes, and the ensuing consumption of sweets only aggravates the problem. Deep breathing, yoga positions, and meditation can help reduce these cravings.

When we become more aware of the mind-body connection through the practice of yoga, we can identify what our bodies really need and make healthy decisions about what we put in our body.

Bottom Line: Regular practice of yoga can decrease blood sugar levels, keep weight in check, and reduce stress, all of which help improve diabetes symptoms.

8. The Practice of Yoga Can Help Regulate Your Adrenal Glands

Adrenal fatigue syndrome can cause lack of energy, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and a number of other symptoms that are triggered by a sustained ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This can result from prolonged levels of stress, a traumatic event, or a stressful living situation.

When your adrenal glands are not functioning correctly, too much cortisol is released into your body and it compromises your immune function. Those who have adrenal fatigue syndrome get sick more often and have a lowered level of energy to deal with the sickness. They are also more susceptible to osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and tend to gain more fat in the abdomen area.

Mastering the breathing that is the center of all yoga practices is a key element in managing stress levels. Because high stress is the main contributing factor to adrenal issues, it makes sense that this type of breathing will lower cortisol levels and lessen the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

When we practice yoga, we also give our minds a chance to quiet down and take a break from any negative our repetitive thoughts that often take over when our adrenal glands are overwhelmed.

This can be a beneficial time to check in with ourselves and identify how we’re feeling. Those experiencing high stress often put themselves last, which only leads to more stress.

Yoga encourages us to to take some time for ourselves. When we look deep, breathe, and practice self-care, we can often deal with negative emotions and the situations that are causing them.

Bottom Line: The regular practice of yoga can reduce stress and lessen the release of cortisol, helping to combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

9. Yoga Strengthens Bones

Weight-bearing activities have long been known to strengthen bones, which is why many of those who are at risk for osteoporosis are encouraged to begin a strength-training workout regimen. Yoga training, with its many positions that  put pressure on different body parts, can be considered weight-bearing and has shown the ability to build bone mass in scientific studies.

In contrast to other, more intense cardio exercises like jogging or weight training, yoga does not damage cartilage or stress the joints. Instead, it lengthens and holds muscles, which creates tension on the bone. This helps to build bone strength.

The release of cortisol, the hormone triggered by stress, is another factor in osteoporosis. Yoga, with its relaxing and stress-calming nature, can reduce the amount of cortisol that is released and therefore lessen the impact it has on the bones.

As few as a dozen yoga poses held for 30 seconds each, if done on a daily basis, can be enough to ward off osteoporosis and strengthen bones in the spine, arms, and legs.

Bottom Line: Performing weight-bearing exercises, including various yoga poses, can reduce calcium-destroying cortisol and build bone density.

10. The Healing Powers of the Breath Aid in Improved Respiration

Yoga is all about harnessing the healing powers of the breath. Though all of us must breathe to live, most of us do not breathe efficiently.

Experts agree that to feel your best, you should breathe approximately 5 to 6 breaths per minute. However, most of us take anywhere from 14 to 20 breaths per minute, which is three times faster than what is healthy.

Breath changes depending on emotion, and vice versa. When we get panicked, upset, or angry, we tend to breath more shallowly and at a faster rate. When we get used to breathing this way because of chronic stress, our body gets used to it and we develop the habit of breathing quickly even in normal circumstances.

When we breathe at a slow and relaxed pace, we are signaling to the brain that it can rest and that no dangers are present. This reduces stress hormones, turns off danger warnings, and allows our body to recover.

Not only do we turn off the ‘fight or flight’ response of our nervous system when we breathe deeply, but we also increase chest wall expansion and lung volumes. This is beneficial to all who practice yoga, but can be especially important for those dealing with a respiratory illness or condition such as asthma.

Everything in yoga is based on the breath. Pranayamic breathing exercises can be performed anywhere when you are in need of stress relief or relaxation. Make sure the air quality in your practice environment is good, however - consider getting an air purifier if that is not the case.

All other forms of yoga, from the extremely gentle restorative yoga to the more intense vinyasa and ashtanga practices, also rely on a basis of breathing deeply and being aware of how your breathing affects every part of your body and mind.

Bottom Line: All forms of yoga are based on breathing. The regular practice of yoga teaches us how to pay attention to the breath and can improve lung volume and chest capacity, helping those who deal with respiratory issues.

11. Chronic Pain Can Often Be Managed Effectively with Yoga

Chronic pain, whether caused by a disease like fibromyalgia, an accident, or a side effect of treatments for other conditions, can easily impair quality of life. If bad enough, it can also trigger brain structure changes that are linked to impaired cognition, anxiety, and depression.

The regular practice of yoga can help those with chronic pain manage it on a number of levels. If pain is due to muscle or joint issues, such as the case with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or back pain, the simple act of regular stretching with a yoga ball chair and range of motion exercises can be enough to significantly reduce pain.

The increased flow of oxygen to brain and muscle tissues that results from the breathing and movement of yoga also help improve energy levels and general feelings of well-being, making it easier to deal with physical pain.

This breathing, combined with the physical movements of yoga, can help release muscle tension held in your body. This often decreases pain or, in some cases, relieves it entirely.

The benefits of yoga as it relates to pain management do not stop there, however, Yoga also appears to increase gray matter in your brain through a process called neurogenesis. There are also indications that it can strengthen white matter connectivity. Many researchers believe that reduction of gray matter and weak connectivity are the most significant factors in chronic pain.

Yogis dealing with pain can also benefit from the stress reduction and decrease in cortisol release the practice brings. This not only helps with tension, but can also help them cope with the anticipation of pain. Instead of having a ‘fight or flight’ reaction to pain, those who have practiced yoga may be able to form a more gentle reaction that does not trigger additional stress.

Bottom Line: The breathing and movement associated with yoga can help those suffering from muscle or joint pain. Regular yoga practice can also trigger changes in the brain that can help chronic pain sufferers deal with and lessen pain symptoms.

12. Those Who Practice Yoga See Fewer Allergy Symptoms

Do you deal with the misery of itchy eyes, scratchy throat, fatigue, and congestion that comes with allergies? Millions of people suffer from allergies brought on by pollen, grass, dust, pet dander, or other substances to the point that it affects their work, their social life, and their sleep.

How do allergies develop? Many scientists have studied the phenomenon and found that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system over-responds to an otherwise harmless substance. Your body mistakenly treats this substance like a dangerous invader and releases histamines.

Histamines are a faulty immune response, and they can condition the body to display symptoms that start to resemble a disease. Many argue that, to be susceptible to allergies, sufferers may have a compromised immune system, weak digestive system or be experiencing toxic overload.

Yoga addresses many different levels of wellness that can lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms. Stress is a leading cause of a poor immune system and digestive problems, and can also be a toxin that makes the body weaker.

As we’ve already addressed many times in this article, the regular practice of yoga is one of the best stress reducers on the planet. Of the many benefits of stress reduction, an improvement in allergies is just one.

Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga that can help with allergies. These practices range from rapid breathing exercises to gentle cleansing of the nasal passages with salt water, which can remove viruses and pollen from the nose.

Studies have also found that regular yoga practice may reduce inflammation in the body. Another harmful effect of stress, inflammation can worsen allergies and cause attacks to be more severe.

Bottom Line: Those who practice traditional yoga or engage in cleansing kriyas can reduce their susceptibility to allergies and also improve the symptoms associated with them.

13. The Increased Blood Flow and Reduced Stress Associated with Yoga Can Increase Fertility

Couples who have struggled with conceiving a child often turn to fertility drugs or even more intensive measures of in vitro fertilization to realize their dreams of having a baby. Before turning to costly and sometimes side-effect laden treatments, couples should first explore the more gentle treatment of practicing yoga.

Yoga enhances fertility in the ways one might expect: by reducing stress that can often harm the chances of conceiving. Stress can lead to the release of an enzyme, called alpha amylase, which can impact a woman’s fertility. Many women who have problems conceiving are stressed to begin with, then become more stressed as they fail to conceive. This can lead to a vicious cycle where stress continues to increase each month, making it more and more difficult to get pregnant.

In addition to stress reduction, yoga can also increase blood flow to reproductive organs, which not only improves their function but also improves hormone function.

All regular yoga practices can help with fertility, but those who are actively trying to conceive may benefit from the more targeted fertility yoga practice. This is aimed specifically at nurturing, supporting, and strengthening the endocrine and reproductive system.

Fertility yoga incorporates specific poses that re-balances the system and strengthens muscles and organs that are used during pregnancy and childbirth. This helps make for a healthy pregnancy once a woman conceives.

Bottom Line: The stress reduction and rebalancing benefits of yoga can help women who want to conceive. Those struggling with fertility issues may want to practice targeted fertility yoga that helps with both conception and a healthy pregnancy.

14. A Consistent Yoga Practice Can Lead to a Balanced Metabolism

Your metabolism is the basic biochemical process that converts the food you eat into the energy you need to live. A sluggish metabolism can mean weight gain, low energy, and problems with regularity.

Though long thought to be a practice focused mostly on relaxation and stretching, yoga can actually be a moderately strenuous workout that increases muscle, increases heart rate, and revs up the fire of your metabolism.

In addition to increasing heart rate to boost metabolism, the practice of yoga also affects digestion, circulation, and muscle tone, all of which have an impact on how efficiently your body creates energy.

With the majority of your digestive tract located in your core, the yoga positions that engage the abdomen, especially those that involve twisting or bringing the knees to the chest, can wring out toxins and encourage waste to pass through your body.

Circulation is another factor important to your metabolism. If your body has poor circulation, your organs suffer from a lack of nutrients and oxygen, which slows metabolism. The deep breathing inherent in yoga helps open up arteries and release pressure, all of which help with proper circulation.

Many people make the mistake of thinking yoga is not strenuous enough to build muscle mass. However, the weight bearing features of many of the poses target large and small muscle groups, building them in size and density.

When we build muscle, we not only increase strength, but we also burn more calories. Muscle burns more than fat, and the more calories we burn, the more our metabolism rate increases.

Bottom Line: Yoga has an effect on digestion, circulation, and building muscle, all of which positively affect your metabolism.

15. Practicing Yoga at any Time of Day Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep is crucial to our energy levels, mood, concentration, and ability to be happy and successful in our everyday lives.

Those most sleep experts recommend that adults get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night, most of us get far less than this. Even if you are in bed for the necessary hours, inability to get to sleep, waking up frequently, or tossing and turning can turn those hours into less-than-quality rest.

Insomnia or reduced sleep quality can be the product of stress, underlying illness or disease, poor sleeping conditions, vitamin deficiency, or hundreds of other factors. This often makes it difficult to identify what issues are at play.

Though every person may have a different reason for not sleeping well, yoga can have a beneficial effect on everyone’s sleep quality. Because the nervous system is responsible for a restful sleep, yoga’s calming effects are especially helpful.

A calm mind leads to a calm body, both of which play a part in how easy it is to get to sleep and how restful that sleep is. Many people are bothered by a ‘busy mind’ that simply cannot shut off at the end of the day.

Yoga teaches us how to breathe deeply and disconnect from our worries and from those distracting thoughts that tend to keep us up at night. By giving ourselves the tools to put thoughts aside and instead focus on our breath, we give ourselves an excellent tool for the perfect night of sleep.

Although a regular yoga practice done consistently at any time of day will undoubtedly affect your sleep, those who really struggle may benefit from poses done at night that are specifically aimed at helping you sleep more soundly.

These poses include uttasnasana, halasana, and savasana and should be done as close to bedtime as possible.

Others benefit more from a Kundalini yoga sequence before bed that incorporates long, slow breathing and meditation. It’s best to try out both methods to see what leads to a better night of sleep for you.

The Bottom Line: The stress-relieving benefits of a consistent yoga practice can help improve your sleep quality. Those with sleeping problems can also benefit from a bedtime routine that includes specific poses or deep breathing paired with meditation.

16. All Forms of Yoga Work Wonders on Your Range of Motion

Range of motion is important to our overall quality of life, and it decreases as we age. Important for injury prevention as well as as our ability to do daily tasks with minimal discomfort, range of motion can be increased with regular yoga.

Why does range of motion decrease as we age and how can yoga combat this? As we get older, the tissue around joints tend to thicken and cartilage decreases. The knees and hips are especially susceptible to these depletions, making them more prone to injury in older individuals.

As muscle mass decreases, this also affects our range of motion as we age. Our ease of movement decreases, and general fitness levels tend to drop.

When range of motion decreases, it often triggers a snowball effect. Movement becomes more difficult, so individuals tend to move less often. This, in turn, triggers more movement impairment.

Yoga is based on controlled, prolonged stretching. This type of movement is still comfortable for those who are experiencing a lack of flexibility or injury that restricts range of motion.

Not only is yoga a practical exercise for those in this situation, but it also tends to reverse the lack of flexibility that they experience.

A daily practice of prolonged stretching that is inherent in any yoga program elongates the muscles and enables joint flexibility.

The slow, deliberate process of gently stretching muscles over a long period of time is both beneficial and achievable for those of all ages. It can be done throughout the lifetime and rarely needs to be suspended due to injury or other ailments.

Bottom Line: The gentle and prolonged stretching that makes up the core of yoga helps increase range of motion and preserve it throughout the lifetime.

17. Practicing Yoga Can Help Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is an excruciating affliction that severely impacts quality of life. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, can occur at any age, and is triggered by a faulty immune system. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative disorder that usually takes place as a person ages. It’s estimated that there are over three million cases of OA in the United States per year.

While medication can greatly help both those suffering from RA and OA, exercise is always recommended as well. Because arthritis is characterized by painful swelling in the joints, many forms of traditional exercise may be unbearable.

Yoga is incredibly easy on the joints and is usually a comfortable activity for even the most severe arthritis sufferers. The gentle stretching of yoga can ease joint discomfort and the focused breathing can help those in pain distance deal with the chronic distress.

The muscle-building and energy-boosting effects of yoga can also help those with arthritis. OA and RA tend to zap energy, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle and muscle atrophy. Those who practice yoga tend to be more active, which lessens arthritis symptoms.

The psychological benefits of yoga on those suffering from arthritis are also to be noted. Those with arthritis who regularly practice yoga suffer from less depression, improved coping abilities, stress reduction and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Bottom Line: Yoga is a safe and effective form of exercise for those suffering from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It helps ease joint discomfort and boosts energy and a sense of well-being.

18. Practicing Yoga Leads to a Healthy Lifestyle and Enhanced Self-Care

Bad choices lead to more bad choices. A lack of exercise can easily lead into bad eating habits, which leads to weight gain, which leads to even less exercise.

A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle results in a depressed mood, low energy levels, and an overall pessimistic attitude.

Sometimes, it just takes one thing to start turning it all around. Yoga can be that one thing.

Because it can be practiced by individuals at any age and in any shape, yoga is a practice that can be adopted by virtually everyone.

Yoga increases our awareness, which often leads practitioners to start making changes in every part of their lives. As they develop more self-awareness, they often make changes that include healthier food choices, fewer toxic relationships, and more time to take care of themselves.

Over time, these choices add up to a much healthier and happier lifestyle. The increase in overall quality of life can even equal more years on your life.

Bottom Line: Yoga increases self-awareness, which leads to other healthy choices and overall increase in wellness and happiness.