I feel strong when I'm practicing. Whether it's repetitive sun salutations or engaging my body in the warrior poses, I love the feeling of fully using my body and working hard. As strength develops, more poses become accessible. It's lots of fun to do something you never thought you could, if it’s an arm balance or even just touching your toes.
While this is a benefit that I've only recently come to enjoy, it's nice to see some stretching progress. I'm still nowhere near as flexible as many yogis, and I may never be, but I like knowing that working on my flexibility is setting me up for an increased range of motion now and later on in life.
The Mind-Body Connection
My yoga practice helps me be more in tune with my body. This shows up in different ways, like making better food and health decisions throughout the day, or realizing before it becomes a big deal that I might be getting sick. Paying extra attention helps me handle and prevent things, like most injury and illness, before they completely throw my day or week off.
One of my all time favorite things about the yoga practice is that is adaptable. I can always change up my classes or practice to connect with what I'm feeling that day, whether it's a relaxing practice or an intense one. Just like in yoga classes, you have the freedom in your practice to do what will work best for you. There’s no set and constant routine to follow that ignores individuality. If I'm sore and exhausted and all I can manage is deep breathing in child's pose for three minutes, then that's what happens. Nothing is ever forced.
The absolute best thing about yoga? The feeling that comes afterward. Right after Savasana I feel alert and chill simultaneously. My mind is calmed and my worries are nowhere to be seen. As I go throughout the rest of my day, I'm more relaxed, less stressed, and end up sleeping like a rock.