Why Downward Dog is a Girl’s Best Friend

Photo provided by Rachel Issler

Photo provided by Rachel Issler

Unless you live under a rock, you’re definitely aware of the newest workout trend: Yoga.  Girl’s everywhere are stepping onto the mat, hoping to reap the rewards of good vibes and tighter thighs, but there’s more to Yoga than just the superficial.  It helps you live longer!

 

Yes, yoga helps stretch out your muscles, and improve your strength--and adding the heat of hot yoga on top of all that: now you’re sweating out the toxins!  But the real magic is in the breath.  Go to any yoga class at any studio, and the first thing the instructor will tell you is that breathing correctly is VITAL.  Proper inhalation and exhalation helps quiet the mind, allowing it to focus on the here and now.  It also slows the heart rate, making you feel calmer and more centered.

 

The beautiful thing about yoga is that your practice is yours and yours alone.  Slow, purposeful deep breathing, while moving through various yoga poses, helps you to know yourself better--to realize where your thoughts naturally wander.  It also helps you to reach mental clarity, free from the bombardment of other’s opinions and judgements.


What you learn on the mat will benefit you in every other area of your life.  Realizing that deep breathing can help you through strenuous poses will give you greater confidence and poise than ever before, and soon enough you’ll find yourself combating stress or frustration with a few deep breaths rather than a major freak out. With each new class you’ll get a little stronger, a little bit more flexible, and little calmer, pushing you closer towards self love.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy leggings or trendy studios either.  A few sun salutations before bed, or free classes at the YMCA are literally all you need!  Namaste!