There are many reasons for practicing Yoga. As well as toning your body, it can help you sleep and refresh every cell in your body! Here are 10 good ones:
1. A nice, toned body
A fit, toned body is not the ultimate goal of yoga, but it sure is a nice side effect.
2. Refresh your kidneys
Your organs are fed by blood carrying oxygen and nutrients. The stretching positions of yoga internally massage the organs. For example, twists work on the kidney area. When you twist at the waist, just like a dish sponge full of soapy water, the 'old' blood is squeezed out of the kidneys, leaving room for them to fill with a fresh supply of oxygenated blood.
3. A good night's sleep
One of the first comments new yoga students have is how well they sleep after a class. Many people say they wake up happier. A steady yoga practice can lessen the amount of sleep you'll need and at the same time, give you more energy.
4. Heal the forest within you
Imagine your body as a lush forest. Parts of it may be less healthy than you'd like and you can spend a lot of time dealing with the sick trees--the parts of your body that don't function well. As well as nourishing the trees that are diseased, yoga is therapeutic and keeps the healthy trees happy.
5. Stand taller
Did you know we are taller after a night's sleep than at bedtime? During the day, gravity compresses the joints, making us shorter. Yoga poses apply a type of traction to the back, which creates "breathing" space in the body joints and cavities. While yoga doesn't really make you grow, the good alignment practiced in yoga can improve your posture and make you stand taller. On a subjective level, students commonly say they feel taller the day after a class.
6. Access your own, inner peace
A full life can be a stressful life. Life experiences build up like layers and are stored in the cellular memory of your body. Yoga allows you to strip your superfluous emotional overlays and access the peace that lies within you. By practising yoga, you can discover your true self - a pure essence full of vibrant and positive energy. You will also be better able to access your intuition, which can guide you in making decisions. Once you learn how to reach this state of mind, you have the capability to access your inner peace anytime you choose.
7. Awaken every cell in your body
If you practice yoga long enough, you can almost feel your cells vibrating at a higher level. Through yoga, your whole body can resonate with positive health.
8. Accept yourself unconditionally
Do you ever feel like the world is demanding too much of you? In trying to keep up with the daily rat race, you may be putting undue stress and pressure on yourself and feel bombarded by expectations coming from others. In yoga, there is no competition. You are accepted for what you are, at the level that is comfortable for you. Yoga encourages you to dissolve the ego and accept yourself unconditionally. Self-acceptance is a key step towards loving yourself. And once you succeed in loving yourself, you can love others even more.
9. Understand the complex machine that is your body
Like a car, your body is a complex working machine. Unfortunately, while we take great care ensuring that our car is in order, we rarely spend the same amount of time, money and energy on our bodies. Yoga teaches us to become aware of every area in our body, what each organ does and how to maintain its health so that it can work optimally. Understanding your body is a bit like an insurance policy, and unlike your car it's hard to buy a new body.
10. Concentrate on the now
Through yoga, you develop your concentration by becoming absorbed in the subtler sensations of your body. This kind of concentration provides a point of focus in the 'now' and it is an excellent skill to have when dealing with stress. When you fully focus on the present, you let go of the past and any concerns for the future. Release yesterday and live in the now.