If you’ve never done yoga before, you might be wondering, “What’s the big deal? Why do I need yoga, anyway?” Yoga has been big in the news for quite a few years now, so you have probably heard that it provides many physical, mental and spiritual benefits. It’s been proven to improve happiness and health, but so do a lot of things. So why yoga?
Conversely, if you’re already a yogi, you already know what yoga can do for you. But sometimes, no matter how beneficial you know yoga is for you, you get stuck in a rut. For whatever reason, you’re just not getting what you need anymore, and you need to get back in the groove.
If you need to be convinced to give yoga a try, or you just need a boost to get you back in the groove, here are 10 signs that you really need yoga in your life…like RIGHT NOW! I’m a huge fan of Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck…” routines, so I’m presenting this list to you in that style…enjoy!
(Jeff Foxworthy photo, courtesy of Little Things)
- If you’re restless…you might need yoga! Seriously, if you are exhausted but can’t seem to sit still, or you find yourself wired up and unable to chill out, yoga can help. It incorporates relaxation techniques that help you get better at understanding when you’re stressed, as well as techniques on how to let those stresses go. And once you figure that out, the empowerment you feel can’t be beat!
- If you can’t sleep…you might need yoga! With yoga, you can learn to incorporate meditation, which can help you better deal with what I refer to as the “monkey mind”. What is the “monkey mind”? It’s the mind that is constantly racing with uncontrollable thoughts, which can keep you from being able to get the quality sleep you need. Meditation helps you learn how to release those thoughts that are not serving you in any beneficial way.
- If you can’t make a decision to save your life…you might need yoga! Noticing you have trouble making up your mind, even over the smallest of things? The focus that yoga provides can help you better open your mind to clearer thinking. And when you can think clearly, you can better understand your own desires and goals….which lead to better decision-making.
- If you can’t properly focus…you might need yoga! If you have trouble keeping your attention on one thing, then completing tasks feels impossible. I’ve noticed lately that, for me, I can’t seem to keep my focus on the book I am trying to complete. I keep having to read chapters over and over again, because I can’t remember what I’ve just read…it’s super frustrating! Maybe you notice that a project you’re working on takes you WAY more time to complete than it should. Yoga incorporates concentration techniques, like helping you learn to balance on one leg, or matching breath with movement, which are great at helping you learn to tame a wandering mind.
- If you can’t control your emotions…you might need yoga! Let’s face it, we all overreact over things sometimes. But if you find that you’re freaking out most of the time, or are having reactions to situations that you know deep down are out of proportion, then yoga may be just the thing you need. Yoga calms your nerves and helps to release stress and tension, which helps bring inner peace. When you have that, you’re able to see the situation for what it is and respond appropriately. And when you can do THAT, you may find you’re more comfortable sharing your feelings and thoughts with others.
- If you no longer enjoy social situations…you might need yoga! Today, social media is EVERYWHERE. And I don’t know about you, but most of what I see has shattered my self-esteem on more than one occasion. All those beautiful pictures of people looking so put together and happy all the time…well sometimes, when I am having a “less than perfect” day, it makes me feel inadequate when I see posts like that. Enter yoga. Yoga is great in helping you learn to leave your ego at the door and becoming comfortable with who you are. I won’t lie to you…it’s not always easy to do this. Sometimes, it involves tears and frustration to get yourself to the point where you learn to love yourself unabashedly. But when that finally happens, like FOR REAL, you won’t believe how confident you’ll feel! And when you’re confident, you’ll feel more comfortable around others in a group setting.
- If you can’t cope in healthy ways…you might need yoga! When things get tough, do you turn to alcohol? Drugs? Food? If the habits you have are not good for you in the long run, then maybe it’s time to ditch those habits for some that ARE. Yoga is a practice that sees health and happiness as a lifelong journey, so establishing a regular yoga practice for yourself might just be the best habit you ever adopt. I mean, who doesn’t want to be happy and healthy?
- If you can’t breathe…you might need yoga! Now to be fair, I’m not talking about not being able to breathe AT ALL. If that’s happening, you need to call 911, baby! But, if your typical breathing is shallow, or if you sometimes feel like you aren’t remembering to breathe easily, then yoga can help. Yoga puts a HUGE emphasis on proper breathing, reminding us to pay close attention to our inhales and exhales and to deepen the breath. Usually, when we breathe shallowly or forget to breathe, it’s because of stress we’re not able to properly deal with. This deep breathing we learn in yoga helps to calm the mind, which releases that stress we’re holding onto. And when we can do that, breathing properly simply becomes second nature.
- If you have poor posture…you might need yoga! Do you sit for long periods at a computer screen? Do you constantly complain of a sore back or neck? If you can’t keep your spine in proper alignment due to long periods of sitting or standing in a non-ergonomic way, yoga might just become your new best friend. A physical yoga practice helps you build strength and flexibility, which can lead to better alignment in the things your body does. Yoga also helps us become more aware of what our bodies are doing, so it becomes easier to recognize when we’re doing something incorrectly.
- If your body is stiff…you might need yoga! When you get out of bed each morning, your muscles and joints might experience a stiffness you can’t seem to shake. It might even be downright painful. This only gets more challenging as we get older, as it becomes more difficult with age to stay limber. Yoga postures can help not only to stretch the muscles, but they also help to lubricate the joints. You’ll feel like a spring chicken in no time!
Do any of these signs resonate with you? I’m willing to bet the answer is yes for a good number of you reading this. If so, then you’ve already accomplished the big step of becoming aware of what you need. Now all you need to do is take the necessary steps to start incorporating yoga as a regular part of your life…either for the very first time, or to re-establish what you know can make you feel oh so good!