Before even think about starting to do yoga, you should know there are 8 limbs (major concepts) of yoga which is essential for the practice:
Yama (Harmony with external and internal world)
Niyama (Good conducts)
Asana (Yoga poses)
Pratyahara (Withdrawal of senses)
Samadhi (Achieve highest consciousness)
Based on the above 8 limbs, I sum up the 10 reasons you should start doing yoga:
1. Bring harmony to external and internal life
This is the first reason? Are you serious? Yes! It seems easy but in fact not many people can do that. The first limb of yoga Yama taught us truthfulness, non-violence, non-stealing, non-collecting and balanced sexual life. Before even stretch your body, we learn to make peace! How good is that!
2. Build up a good moral standard
The second limb Niyama shows us the importance of cleanliness, contentment, self discipline, self study and total acceptance of life. We do not need to be perfect in order to practice yoga, but on the other way round, by start doing you will find your life lining in the right path.
3. Move your body, shake your DNA
Most of the people nowadays focus only on the Asanas instead of the whole picture of yoga. Of course practicing yoga can help you develop a stronger physical body. It helps strengthening muscles and increasing mobility of joints. Just remember do not push yourself, let your body slowly adapt to the postures. Be patient!
4. Train your endurance
In contrast to doing an action many times to enhance your power; while holding one yoga posture for longer time, it indeed trains your endurance which stimulate the health of your bones.
5. Breathe better
Although breathing is an involuntary movement, many people do not know how to breathe in the most efficient way. In yoga, we tend to let our breath lead our movements, and you will notice taking long deep breaths is a way to relax and conserve energy.
6. Cleanse your thoughts and sensations
Yoga also teach us to think, in Pratyahara we practice the art of senses withdrawal. Every moment we have thousands of thoughts pop up in our minds, learning how to screen through them and not responding to those who bring you down is very essential.
7. Concentrate your mind without disturbance
By following Dharana and Dhyana, we learn how to tune our focuses towards your ultimate goal. You can implement meditations into your daily practice, Yin yoga is a good blend which facilitates you to achieve better physical, mental and emotional health.
8. Learn the art of giving/sharing
The idea of Dhamma yoga, we are all learning and sharing our knowledge and thoughts to help each other grow. To be humble even if you are the teacher or you are an advanced student, help others and you can learn from them as well.
9. Train up your determination
By setting a clear goal and observing your progress, you can see yourself improving every single day. It requires your strong determination to maintain your self-practice no matter how busy or lazy you are.
10. Be more conscious about yourself
This is the ultimate nirvana state, Samadhi shows you the way to be present and achieve the highest consciousness. However, don’t worry, it is one of the benefits that you will experience once you step into the yoga world! Just open your heart and take what you feel like.
Just to remind you that Yoga is not a religion that force you to do what the gurus ask, or strictly follow all the dogmas. Instead, you pick what suits you and create your own practice. Yoga is a philosophy to lead us to achieve liberation, in order to get there, if we are not free to choose what we believe, then what is the point?
If you are deciding if you should try a yoga class, I hope you get some inspiration from above! Do not use the excuses of stiffness or rigidness, everybody is stiff after so many years of wrong postures, if we do not plan to correct them, we will get even more stiff when we get old.
Last but not least, make sure you follow a qualified and experienced yoga instructor. Injuries can definitely be avoided when we do all the precautions.
See you on the mats!