Yoga: Taking Care of YOU

crop yogaDo you ever feel like the world is moving too fast around you? Ever wish you could bring things back to center or find a balance? Enter: yoga.

Yoga is often misinterpreted in our western culture. While it is incredibly useful as part of a fitness and muscle toning routine, there is so much more to the practice than just targeting muscle groups or increasing flexibility.

Yoga means one-ness, and that truly sums up what a practice in the art of yoga does. The benefits of yoga are vast and available to everyone, regardless of skill or prior experience. Yoga helps on every level, physical and beyond. Besides learning how to target and control individual parts of your body, the practice of yoga helps to control and regulate your breath.

It is often said that “if you can control your breath, you can control your mind.” This is why yoga often helps people experiencing feelings of overload and anxiety- the practice of yoga teaches you to move your body with your breathe, to direct your breath to match your movements, and to truly feel what your body is doing and saying.

Take for example, a member who is an avid golfer but was recently experiencing back pain and painfully tight hamstrings- it took some convincing, but he tried a yoga class, and then started to attend regularly. This golfer got his game back; he found a solution to his back pain challenges, increased his flexibility, and soothed his anxiety, all at the same time.  We encourage members often- you’re never too old or too young, and you don’t have to be flexible to give yoga a try!

Besides the physical benefits of practicing yoga- there are many additional ways a regular yoga practice can benefit your health and wellness journey. One of our yoga instructors, Chastity Garcia, says that when she began practicing yoga she immediately realized that she was able to sleep better. It was much easier to fall asleep because she understood how to quiet her mind from the busyness of the day. That quiet-ing lasted through the night and she slept soundly and woke up more refreshed. Convincing your mind to rest, or even back down from a frantic pace, is so important in the busy race of our daily lives. Imagine how different your day could be if you understood how to calm your mind when faced with stressors or anxiety- you could face challenges from a more logical perspective, it would be easier not to yell at the kids for fighting (again), white-knuckling it through a traffic jam wouldn’t be necessary, the list could go on…

And though our list of benefits is by no means complete, lastly, yoga helps you to hear and understand what your body is doing. You learn how to interact with your body- to understand where pain is coming from, to avoid foods that make you uncomfortable, to feel if you are getting sick before you actually do, to truly care for yourself. We know that YOU know to take care of yourself- that’s why you care about fitness, and why you’re reading this blog in the first place. Yoga is a way for you to discover your body’s needs and attend to them.

If you’ve ever been curious about attempting yoga, we encourage you to give it a try. See if it is right for you. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect the first time- that’s why they call it “yoga practice.” 🙂

We wish you good health,

~Columbia Basin Racquet Club

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