Why do yoga?
Hi, everyone. This is my first blog post on this site. I am a third year college student studying health and wellness in the community. I’ve always been active and ate relatively healthy as a kid in a suburban community. I have kind of always taken this privilege for granted. Has anyone truly wonder, why take care of yourself?
Why take care of yourself? Well, of course there is the obvious health benefits. As humans we need to take care of our selves physically. By eating right and exercising there is the ultimate output of being a relatively fit human. But, why do we do it? To look good? To post pictures on Instagram? To snapchat our “superfoods?”
In my opinion, we take care of ourselves off of instinct. Almost every action of instinct traces back to our ancestors. Why do we have the ability to run? Well, our great, great, great, great… ancestors had to learn how to survive while hunting food. See the momma bear coming at you? Oh, that’s right. You were just hunting the bear’s baby. How should you survive this time? Move those legs! Faster! Faster!
Along with the known psychological mindset of “survival of the fittest,” humans have developed into civilize mammals. We can read, speak (not only with grunts), rationalize, use dining sets, use our thumbs to our greatest intent, (woohoo!) live in well put together communities. Humans have developed greatly. Along with developing intellect, humans can also communicate ideas on deeper meaning of life with one another. By doing so, people have realized the importance of mental health.
Not only should we take care of our bodies physically, but mentally, emotionally etc. We no longer have to run (usually) because we’re in danger. People now go for runs around the block to feel good and look good. Exercise is amazing for our cardiac, respiratory, GI systems, and even our urinary system, which is probably surprising to most. But, what about the spirit, if you will, that is at home in our functional, beautiful bodies? What about our brains that run endlessly through the day trying to get tasks done for our jobs, families, and responsibilities? What about the stress we can physically feel creeping up in our shoulders?
Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. Now, don’t be afraid. You are probably picturing a crowded, hot room with strange words circulating the mats. You’re sweating and tired. The room is now darker than when the class started. You think everyone is better at this than you. “I shouldn’t be here,” you whisper to yourself.
Negative speech is electrifying. Your body sends out stress hormones and you begin to self doubt. STOP! Stop right where you are! Take a moment wherever you are, and smile. Smile so hard your cheeks hurt. Geez! That was close. Oh, by the way, forcing yourself to smiling just caused your body to release your “happy hormones,” serotonin, dopamine, endorphins is coursing through your veins. I love it! Any who, let’s continue…
We just began to chat about exercise and the physical demands we put on our bodies while trying to reach our needs to be healthy. Now that we have established physical, mental, and emotional health are so important. Why not kill it all with one stone?
I feel as though yoga has a harsh stigma; pretty ironic. Let’s change our mindset. You unfold your colorful mat, you sit and begin to stretch. You’re looking around with all the unfamiliar people and scents. “You can almost reach your toes!” your yoga teacher says, “That’s awesome! Keep working!”
The point of this post is to promote not only exercise, but develop a greater mind-body understanding. Learning and engaging is truly one of my favorite things to do. By deciding to practice yoga I have learned a lot about myself and my body. I have watched many Youtubers and read up on other’s experiences. All have been inspiring to watch in front of my eyes.
Who cares if you fall doing your first downward dog? Who care if you fall doing your 200th downward dog? Laugh it off, smile, and get back on that mat!