I love the real life fitness posts because I really get excited to see real people who have changed their lives through fitness and also I love the variety. It’s so inspiring for me to hear stories about the different reasons that people have for starting their sport or healthy lifestyle and it also motivates me to try new things and to keep searching for all the wonderful ways that fitness can improve lives.
This week I have the pleasure of posting this great interview with Jess, who I know is really happy to share her positive experiences of Yoga. She is just an ordinary person like me or you who has found happiness, calmness and a great body from practicing the art of Yoga.
I am pretty impressed with the pose you can do! I know I can’t do anything like that!
First of all – what is so good about Yoga?
There are many benefits that come from a regular routine of yoga practice. It is important to understand that yoga does not solely consist of asanas (poses). It also encompasses breathing techniques, namely pranayama (the art of breathing control). In my opinion, revitalization is the best part of yoga. Routine practice will help rid your body of stale carbon dioxide and bring fresh oxygen to each and every cell, which will in turn energize your body and make you feel great.
What are the top 3 benefits?
I believe the top three benefits of yoga are:
(1) Peace of Mind. In the short time I have been practicing yoga, I have noticed considerable changes including how I react to situations that may upset, sadden and/or anger me. I notice a calmness that wasn’t there before. I attribute this to a regular routine of asanas and pranayama,
(2) Spiritual Awareness. When practicing yoga, there is a sense of interconnectedness with one’s surroundings, including the natural environment, to which we all belong.
(3) Health! If the other two benefits didn’t get you interested in yoga, well then think about all the health benefits…yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years for a reason. Some health benefits include improving strength, flexibility, balance and posture, building endurance, lowering blood pressure, slowing heart rate and decreasing cholesterol. In addition it gives you a great ass and a nice toned body!
How did you first get started?
I was always interested in yoga but started with pranayama first. I read books about asanas and breath work and began practicing at home (you need only a mat and a quiet little area). I only committed to yoga about 6 months ago.
Do you think classes are necessary for beginners?
I think that it doesn’t matter where you are with your practice (beginner, intermediate or advanced), classes are always terrific because they are usually multi-level and I can almost guarantee that you will learn something new each time you attend!
Each person is different and each pose is unique so it’s difficult to say but if you dedicate yourself to a regular routine of yoga and commit to it, I would say even the most difficult poses can be ‘mastered’ in months.
How much experience does a person need to do the crow pose (pictured)?
Again, each person is different but I worked on the crow pose consistently for about 6 weeks and was able to hold the position for about 20 seconds which sounds like nothing but I was quite proud!
Will the benefits of Yoga work for anyone?
I think that each person’s body may respond differently to yoga because we are all such unique beings, however I do believe that yoga practice can only be beneficial and not harmful to one’s self.
Some people might think it sounds too good to be true – what, if any, are the most common problems for people practicing Yoga?
The only problem I can think of is finding the time and committing to doing it. That was always my problem but once I started to ‘feel’ the benefits and see my body transfigure that sealed the deal for me!
Do you have any Yoga mentors, or people who you look up to?
There was one book my dear friend gave me that I read which was very inspirational to me. The book is called “The Heart of Yoga” by T.K.V. Desikachar and is about the late yoga teacher, Sri T. Krishnamacharya. He seemed to be an invaluable, exceptional teacher whose mere presence was a pleasure to be around.
Where can the readers find more information about Yoga – do you have any recommendations?
The internet! Really, you can find anything and everything there these days. Also readers can try YouTube for yoga exercise videos and start there. Another great picture book which helped in the beginning with the poses was, “Yoga, Your Home Practice Companion” by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre. My advice to anyone interested in beginning yoga is to not get discouraged by what you can’t do…start slow, listen to your body and focus on what you CAN do! Be well.
NOTE: Please note that the above interview is based upon personal opinions and observations and has not been written by a certified Yoga instructor or medical professional.