How Yoga Can Enrich Your Life (10 Reasons Why You Should Practice Yoga)
by Lani Mednick
Lani Mednick is currently teaching Transitional Kindergarten at a charter school in San Jose, CA. This is her fifth year teaching and she has loved bringing the gift of yoga and meditation into her general education classes. She plans to begin teaching a Community Yoga class for parents and teachers of the students at her school to help fundraise for field trips and 5th Grade Outdoor Science camp in Yosemite. She did her 200 hour yoga teacher training with It’s Yoga in July 2013. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation and strength, anyone can go to a yoga class and there are MANY benefits.
- STRESS RELIEF! Having a time in your day to press pause on the millions of things occupying your mind and allowing yourself to move and breath has proved to lower stress dramatically. It is on days where you don’t feel like you have any time, that you need to practice the most. Just 5 minutes a day will help!
- PAIN RELIEF! Both breathing into pain and conditioning the body through it will help to relieve pain (physical and emotional). Almost all physical and psychological therapists recommend yoga to those going through pain.
- IMPROVED BREATHING! With a focus on breathing or pranayama you will breath deeper and more fully. With increased or consistent practice, lung capacity increases and your breathing continues to provide your body with what you really need.
- FLEXIBILITY! Poses that do not feel good are those you need the most. With Ashtanga yoga, we hold each pose for five breaths, getting deeper with each exhale to sink into our true pose potential. Over time, you will notice dramatic improvements to your flexibility.
- INCREASED STRENGTH! As with flexibility, since each pose is held for five breaths, it takes a lot of strength. This is especially true when you work on arm balances.
- WEIGHT MANAGEMENT! Yoga is great exercise and burns many calories. Additionally, many poses speed up metabolism, which helps with weight management.
- IMPROVED CIRCULATION! As you move your body and hold poses, circulation improves as well as temperature management.
- CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING! As with any exercise, yoga is exceptionally great for the health of your heart!
- FOCUS ON THE PRESENT! It does no good to dwell on the past or stress about the future. Yoga helps to keep you centered and focused on the present moment in order to make the best of everything.
- INNER PEACE! Beyond the physical and health benefits, living a yogic life style means living a balanced and thoughtful life. It means radiating the love and life that you are experiencing onto all who surround you.
Do it every day! Share it! If you do, you and all those you know will feel happier and healthier- guaranteed!
My Yoga Philosophy
by Lanni Mednick
I firmly believe that happy people are those who feel centered—both body and mind—and that happiness is contagious. I do and teach yoga to pass it on!
Ashtanga Yoga means the union of eight limbs, all of which involve elements of the mind and body. One of the eight limbs is the asanas, or the physical postures of yoga practice. Another is pranayama or breath, which is a clear focus of most vinyasa yoga classes. With simple math, you can see that with the Ashtanga practice, yoga is much more than what happens on the proverbial mat— six limbs more!
My yoga practice is an ever evolving quest to practice all eight limbs and help others to do the same in order to have more peace and balance in our everyday lives.
My personal practice has been ever evolving. At 16 when I began, I did yoga purely as a means of exercise. Even with this simple intention, I inadvertently noticed various additional benefits. I was happier, stronger and I was increasingly living in the present. I also noticed that as I did yoga, those around me were becoming more aware and awake.
When I was about 20, I attended class about 3-5 times a week, and began to study Patajali’s Yoga Mudras. I began to realize the true power yoga has to offer. In order to further deepen my personal practice, I registered for the teacher training course in Ostional, Nicaragua. As a result and as a human being, I feel transformed and even more deeply rooted to my commitment to my yoga practice which is now daily and omnipresent.
Throughout the training, I realized how important it is to make yoga both ritualistic and natural. Daily practice means consistency both in movement of our bodies, rhythm of our breath and attitude towards people and elements around us. It is my true and solid intention to lead by example. By doing yoga and BEING yoga– by existing and acting as a centered individual, open to various ideas of truth– I can share the powerful impact that yoga can have on each and every one of us, especially in trying moments of daily life.
It is days that we don’t feel like we have the time or energy for a committed yoga practice that we need it the most. Yoga is not just asanas, yoga is union, synthesizing the world around us to make it a better, more peaceful place for ourselves and others. A better word will be one in which everyone does yoga, in one form or another. I am here to help facilitate this process.