I started doing yoga with my now husband in 2009, when we decided to go on a surf/yoga retreat for our honeymoon in Nosara Costa Rica. I was always pretty athletic my whole life, but super stiff and not flexible at all. I couldn't even touch my toes! I didn't know much about the benefits or spiritual side of yoga at the time, and I just had a feeling that it was something we would enjoy doing together. Well, let me tell you that from the instant I landed on my mat in 2009, I felt a shift in my body, mind, spirit, mood, I mean you name it. It was so crazy how the feeling of the earth supporting your body + shifting your focus to your breathing can have such an immediate impact on your mood. It's that simple, Those 2 things and boom...
While a regular yoga practice is optimal, there are SO many different types of yoga to choose from and it certainly doesn't have to be a strenuous experience at a studio. Turn on your Apple TV or computer and head over to YouTube or Vimeo and you can find a ton of short or long practices you can do right in the comfort of your own home. And it's free!
A blog that I particularly like called Happier.com, shares the below details regarding how the practice of yoga contributes to a happier life.
I couldn't agree more....
Yoga changes your brain immediately
You may think it takes years of dedicated practice before you start to see happiness-results, but that's not the case at all. Studies have shown that the brain's gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels spike after just one hour of yoga. Higher GABA levels are associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Long-term yoga practice creates long-term changes
Those who stick with regular yoga practice report themselves to be happier and healthier. Studies show that yoga reduces fatigue, anxiety and anger. Real biochemical changes created through yoga practice support better physical and mental health.
Breathing makes you happier
Every yoga practice incorporates some elements of focusing on the breath. Research has shown that the ability to become aware of and regulate the breath is key in terms of lowering stress and anchoring oneself in the moment, both of which are needed to feel happier. Pairing the two together is a guaranteed happiness-booster.
Straighten your mood
Did you know that your posture is related to your mood? It is, and although we tend to think of sadness as causing slumping rather than vice-versa, it turns out that adjusting your posture can change your mood. Yoga of all types strengthens that brain-body connection where the body sends messages to the brain that make it feel strong and positive, so don't wait to lengthen your spine and stand up straight!