Guest Posts

Yoga “Practice”

“I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.” I wish I had a quarter for every time someone said that to me. It’s the equivalent of saying “I can’t lift weights, I’m not strong.” Yoga is called a “practice” because it’s ongoing. There is no “advanced,” the poses will look different in every body and every body is a yoga body. It’s the ongoing practice that creates transformation toward strength and flexibility from wherever you started and wherever you’ll go.

We know it’s good for our bodies:

The physical benefits of incorporating yoga in a balanced fitness regimen have been studied and documented at length. We know it’s good for our hearts:

Hopkinsmedicine.org (1) says “A growing body of research from Johns Hopkins shows that practicing yoga can lower stress and help those recovering from heart events.”

We know it’s good for our heads:

An International Journal of Yoga found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2) says “Yoga has shown to improve the quality of life, reduce the episode of headache and medication.”

We even know it’s good for our bones:

Harvard Health (3) reports on a study that showed yoga’s effect of yoga on bone health. The study “logs indicated that 227 participants, 202 of whom were women, practiced the routine at least every other day for two years. Their average age was 68 when they entered the study, and 83% had lower-than-normal bone density. The DEXA scans they submitted at the end of the study showed significant increases in bone density in the spine.”

A large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health.
– Hugh Calkins, MD

And it’s good for our lives:

The Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (4) published a study that states “The yoga intervention produced improvements in physical measures (eg, timed 1-legged standing, forward flexibility) as well as a number of quality-of-life measures related to sense of well-being and energy and fatigue compared to controls.”

There are tons of anecdotal accounts of octogenarians who attribute a high quality of life to their routine yoga practice. Really, just google it.

When I first started yoga I definitely couldn’t do the poses in the same way I can now. I also wasn’t as calm or relaxed. I couldn’t tune in to my inward senses and bring myself clarity and peace. And I absolutely still have so much to practice. The truth is, yoga is a transformative practice to incorporate in your life for total wellness. You don’t have to be flexible, you don’t have to be healthy, you don’t have to be able to touch your toes, or have any expectations at all. All you have to do is practice.

About the Author

Amy Kay Czechowicz is the founder of Moonswept Yoga. She is passionate about helping people cultivate their own yoga practice. She will be leading a yoga and poetry workshop near Minneapolis, Minnesota in July 2019. If you’re interested in learning more visit Moonswept Yoga.

 References:

1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/move_more/the-yoga-heart-connection

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4097897/

3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/yoga-another-way-to-prevent-osteoporosis

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16454146