Beginning yoga doesn’t require a lot of commitment – it’s simply you and your yoga mat (and many studios will even provide rental mats for classes). 

One of the greatest allures of yoga as an exercise is its simplicity, so why not try it out? You’ll never hear anyone say they’ve regretted beginning a yoga practice because yoga offers fantastical abilities in body, mind, and spirit. 

Yoga will increase your confidence

As you first take to the mat, your body will likely surprise you at its incredible abilities. It's highly likely you've been underestimating your power all your life; yoga will bring you in touch with your body, mind, and breath, and all they can do together. 

Imagine the overwhelming sense of pride at your first balanced Tree Pose (Vrikshasana) or at how quickly the movements improve your flexibility. Over time your Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff Pose) will become sturdier, and your heels will reach the ground in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). As the body transforms, so will the mind.

Yoga will teach you mindfulness

Mindfulness is when you become aware of yourself, such as how you feel, both emotionally and physically. People hold emotions in their bodies through tension in the shoulders, anxiety in the gut, a slouched back, or stiff legs. 

As you move through your yoga sequence, your instructor (whether video or in-class) will encourage you to pay attention to each sensation in the body. You could realize you are tensing your thighs in Reverse Butterfly (Baddha Konasana) and that by acknowledging that tension, you can finally begin to relax. You can use these tools throughout the day by checking in with the body and how it feels.

Yoga can relieve anxiety-related symptoms

Anxiety is extremely common and most people around the world experience anxiety-like symptoms at least once in their life. One of the common experiences is rapid, seemingly uncontrollable breath or panting. 

In turn, yoga encourages the practice of pranayama, which is a way of controlling the breath. Breathing exercises like blocking one nostril to breathe through at a time and alternating every cycle (one inhalation, one exhalation) can give you a reprieve from this frightening aspect of anxiety.

Yoga can improve your physical health

Some people prefer to focus on what yoga can offer them more physically than spiritually, and that is perfectly okay. 

Yoga is a well-rounded exercise and you are free to choose which aspects you want to acknowledge or focus on. With that being said, yoga can give you an excellent workout that includes cardio, increasing strength, and building endurance. 

Challenging yourself to do twenty Sun Salutations at alternative speeds will introduce a surprisingly sweaty cardiovascular workout to your routine while holding poses that work the muscles longer will build your strength and endurance. Over time, you'll be able to see your body becoming more toned, flexible, and overall healthy when you include yoga into your weekly workout session.

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