If you recently started your yoga practice or you are planning on practicing yoga, there are several benefits you can start noticing pretty much from day one. By paying attention to what is going on in your mind, body and spirit during and after practicing yoga, can help you find mindfulness and commit to a long-term yoga practice.
As a Yoga teacher, one of the first instructions I tell my students is to start noticing everything around them and also inwards. Turning their attention to the changes in their bodies, including any emotions, from the beginning of the class, and to continue with this exercise even after the class is over.
In her article What Doing Yoga For The First Time Does To Your Body, http://bit.ly/yogafirsttime, Carolyn Steber describes what to expect during the first few times you start practicing yoga, since the benefits that can be obtained go beyond the physical realm. In her article, the author makes emphasis on taking the class at your own pace, regardless of the level of the rest of the people in the class. By staying on your mat and paying attention to what you are experiencing at every moment of the practice, you can start reaping the benefits of yoga almost immediately, and it may be just enough to keep you motivated to continue in a lifelong yoga path.
Another interesting article worth reading is Practicing Yoga and Meditation Reverses the DNA Damage that Makes us Sick and Depressed, http://bit.ly/35r81V7. In this article, Amancia E. Toole goes deeper into the benefits of yoga at a molecular level to reverse the damage that stress and anxiety may have caused to our DNA. This is an extraordinary discovery since it confirms what yogis and other mindfulness practitioners have experienced for ages: practicing yoga changes you in ways way beyond the physical level, and it changes you into a different person.
With all this in mind there are three simple steps you can take during your yoga practice that can amplify these benefits and increase the probability that you will be back at your mat on a regular basis:
- Turn your attention inwards. As soon as you start your practice, close your eyes and start waking up all your senses, noticing everything that your senses are communicating to your brain. Most of the time, we are numb to our sensations, and this is a great way to start listening to our bodies
- Allow your emotions to surface.Both sensations and emotions are called feelings, and they need to be acknowledged and allowed to flow within our bodies freely as we practice yoga. It is the best moment and place to let them release themselves, and it will make you feel much better at the end of the class.
- Continue noticing your feelings well after the class is over.As you go along with your life, notice any differences in your body as the result of your new practice. This can be a very personal experience that will keep you going back to your mat for more and will keep you in touch with your inner self in ways that you may have not experienced before.
I summary, once you start embarking on your yoga path, it may enrich your life in more ways than you had imagined, and this can start from the first time you set foot on your mat!
Maurizio Caputo, RTY-200 Yoga Teacher teaches Yin Yoga and Beginners Yoga in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In his blog mauyoga.com, Maurizio brings yoga to everyday life by reaching people interested in practicing as well as experienced yogis. Currently, Maurizio is enrolled in the Social Media Marketing Specialization offered by Northwestern University through Coursera (http://bit.ly/2M2ZSi5). He can be reached via Facebook at http://bit.ly/mauyogafb, Instagram http://bit.ly/mauyogaIG, and Twitter at https://twitter.com/mcaputod