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Today I’m going to focus on yoga. I have yet to feature this topic on my blog, but it has become a big part of my life so it seems fit to start off with a post on why I fell in love with hot yoga in the first place (and why I still love it). I actually used to dislike yoga. I danced for pretty much all my life and when I first tried hot yoga with my friend while I was in University I thought it was too slow, and for lack of a better word, boring. I don’t think I really wrapped my mind around what yoga could do for my mind and body and at that point in my life, I guess I didn’t really need to. A couple years passed and I tried it out again, becoming a bigger fan and realizing what it could do for my strength and flexibility. Unfortunately, what caused me to really give in and experience hot yoga and meditation was a loss I went through about a year ago. I was holding on to a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear and a lot of sadness. Eventually I realized I needed to make some changes and I looked to hot yoga as one of them. Now it has become a part of my regular routine. Doing hot yoga has given me so many blissful mind and body benefits and below are 5 reasons I can’t live without it!
1) Mind health: As I mentioned above, hot yoga helped me get into a better mind space after I lost myself a little bit. One of the most important parts of yoga is finding and focusing on your breath, which is not something you always think about as you go about living your life. Deep breathing can release stress and anxiety and helps you tune into yourself. It allows you to feel what you’re feeling and lets you let go of it (if it’s negative). It also makes you realize that you should be focusing on your breath and releasing negative thoughts and feelings throughout your everyday life. I didn’t realize what a difference this could make, but it has made a world of difference to me.
2) Disconnection: In a time where we are constantly connected through emails, social media, texts, etc. it is so important to have parts of our lives where we are totally disconnected from technology and all our gadgets. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE technology, I love all my gadgets, I wouldn’t be blogging if I didn’t, but I also love being away from it all. It can get overwhelming and even feel a little bit obsessive and time away from technology can be a little slice of heaven! Whether I’m out to dinner with friends, a beach or getaway without wifi, a yoga class – I need disconnection. I think we all do.
3) Me Time: Kind of tying in to numero 2, I love yoga classes because they are my me time, away from everything else. I’ve always been a very independent person and I love having time to myself. I can be alone without feeling lonely and although I love spending time with my family, boyfriend and friends, I also love having time to spend with myself. The great thing about yoga is that there can be 30 people in the room with you but you really learn how to just focus on yourself – your mind, your body, your strength or weaknesses. It’s so important and it’s just what I need.
4) Body Strength: Yoga isn’t the only physical activity I do – I love to run and I have recently been getting into weights and classes at the gym, which I really enjoy. However, yoga has had a huge helping hand in my body strength, especially my legs and arms. My legs are always aching the day of (and sometimes the next day) in the best way possible. I can literally feel myself getting stronger as we hold different poses in class and although it can be tough, it pushes you and your body to gain strength. I can see and feel a change in my body and it motivates me to always do yoga.
5) Detox: Hot yoga is one of the best forms of detoxing. If you have a day or two of only eating greasy foods or the “tastes good, but not-so-good-for-you” stuff, hot yoga will help you cleanse. Just make sure to drink lots of water before and after! Water is the best!
So there you have it… the 5 reasons I fell in love with yoga. Do you guys do yoga? Why do you love it?