How Yoga Makes For A Better, More Badass You
Yoga sure has evolved since the dawn of civilization. Where once upon a time it was one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, “yoga” today refers more to putting your body in a series of postures or positions in order to achieve a stronger physical and mental state.
In fact, yoga is so popular today that there is something like 6,000 yoga studios in America – that’s as many as there are Walmarts! – and one out of three Americans have done yoga. That means when you’re sitting on the subway, you could probably say to the person to your left or right, “Which is your favorite asana to open up your chakras?” and they would probably understand what you’re saying.
But why this influx of people carrying colorful mats into cramped rooms to put their bodies into weird positions that don’t look comfortable? The number one reason why people turn to yoga is to improve their flexibility, but yoga is about way more than just wanting to master the Kamasutra. Hailed as one of the most holistic practices out there, here are some ways yoga can benefit your body, mind and soul.
Strength and smarts
The physical benefits of yoga are so long you couldn’t even squeeze them onto a flyer. Yoga helps with everything from blood circulation to cardiovascular endurance, improving things that you may be able to see, like your posture, to things deep within your body, like your lymphatic or endocrine system.
You know how you weren’t feeling all that good, then you pop into a yoga class, and suddenly you could swear you felt better, healthier even? It’s no myth that yoga boosts your immune system at a cellular level – and instantly – meaning that your body is seriously kicking ass fighting nasty bugs all while you are sun salutation-ing.
And it isn’t just the blood rushing to your head during a headstand, yoga can legitimately make you smarter. A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health shows that just twenty minutes of yoga can improve the brain’s ability to quickly and accurately process information – even more so than running does (and with less damage to your knees in the process!). Apparently, the mindfulness of having to be constantly “present” during a yoga session promotes the growth of your brain’s prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with working memory, focus and attention.
Eating and lifestyle changes
One beautiful part about yoga is that it’s almost a custom-made exercise for your body. In any yoga class, you’ll always be reminded to listen to your body. After all, the word “yoga” as it is derived from Sanskrit has the idea of joining together, in union. And when you start listening to your body, you’ll hear things you’d never have heard before. Like ever wonder why you’re suddenly craving a healthy fruit shake or a salad after yoga class over something unhealthier? That’s your body whispering to you its order. When your friend asks you out for a jog or to play tennis and suddenly you get the urge to say okay? That’s your body telling you to say yes.
Because yoga increases one’s mindfulness and the way one relates to their body, you’ll start to become more aware of what you’re actually putting inside your body and what you’re doing to it, and you’ll find yourself making better, healthier food and exercises choices. This is simply because some choices will make you feel better and some will make you feel worse, and you’ll naturally gravitate towards those that make you feel good, to carry on feeling the “high” of good health.
Now we get to the fun stuff; let’s talk about how yoga can make sex xxx-tra awesome. Did you know that if given the choice between sleep and sex, 6 out of 10 Americans would pick sleep? It’s no wonder, since we’re all overworked and sleep-deprived (thanks Netflix!). It seems counterintuitive that adding more activity into your life could help you relax and sleep better, but hey, that is exactly what yoga practice does. When you get better sleep, sex becomes less of a chore and more of a spontaneous expression of desire and love… you know, the thing it always used to be before a lack of sleep disrupted all that!
And you know how when you get to the part of savasana or corpse pose in your yoga class, you just feel like you can fling all your cares and tensions away and just be in the moment and… relax? Anyone who’s tried to have an orgasm without being relaxed knows that it’s just a futile endeavor. Enjoying that big O will come (get it, get it?) naturally when your body knows how to relax and your mind knows just on what to focus. Not to mention, yoga is like a not-so-secret Kegel workout for your pelvic floor muscles, for extra explosive explosions. So hmmm, slash stress and spice up sex? Has yoga won you over yet?
You and within
You’ll feel like the badass version of yourself who can tackle any challenges and overcome mountains. Why? For one, consistent yoga practice leads to a significant increase in serotonin and oxytocin levels, and a decrease in monoamine oxidase and cortisol. In simple English, this means bye bye depression and hello happiness! When you feel happier and more confident, you’ll feel more ready and able to turn life’s lemons into yummy lemonade.
Yoga also teaches you to focus on what your body can do, instead of how it should look like. It promotes a positive body image and boosts your self-esteem. And let’s face it, there is no one “yoga body”. Have you seen the number of followers and likes curvy yogis are getting on Instagram? Hashtags like #curvyyoga and #curvygirlyoga are a thing because they encourage body love. Loving what your body can do is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And by the way, it’s no coincidence that the 4 benefits in this article spell out SEXY. Yoga makes you feel SEXY and that’s always a great way to feel!
And while you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow @be_yuriyasa.
Yuriyasa have turned the boring (leggings + bra top) yoga uniform into a powerful statement with their fashion forward yoga pants that will take you from lunch to lunges to lounges. It’s a badass combination of confidence and class so watch out, world!