You know someone who does yoga. We all do. It’s clear they’re devoted to their practice. And many say that it changes lives and bodies. But how do you know if yoga is right for you? Your body knows, says Eoin Finn, who teaches the Yoga Mind Body Medicine course in Ucluelet, B.C. (register here). And it’s trying to tell you to practice yoga with these silent (or maybe not-so-silent) signs.
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Tightness means that you need some of the dynamic movements that yoga can provide.
The yogi says: “In general, when people are new to yoga I notice that there is a lot of tightness and rigidity in the body,” says Finn. “It’s easy to label this simply as inflexibility but that’s too general. I see this inflexibility as a symptom in the body but the root cause is often in the mind.” (This yoga flow will loosen you up.)3 / 10
Short breaths can show that you are stressed. Learning how to properly breathe with yoga can help.
The yogi says: “There is a lack of awareness about how to regulate the body towards a state of peace and clarity,” he says. “We all face a lot of stress and worry in modern living and we are not given the tools for how to stay centered using our breath and awareness in stressful situations or how to effectively move this out of our bodies and minds.”
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And we’re not talking about going on vacation or to the spa – but on a regular, routine day.
The yogi says: “By relaxing the body and following the breath in a yoga pose, we learn how to relax the mind,” he says.
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If you have a hard time focusing, then it might be time to sign up for a yoga class.
The yogi says: Flows are sequences of different yoga poses. “It is the flow state when we are in our most clear-thinking and creative selves,” says Finn. Being in flow with life is something we all want. We learn to be in a flow state in a yoga pose but we quickly learn that the same skills can be applied to giving a presentation in a boardroom or sinking a free-throw.
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This can mean both physical and mental unbalance. But a yoga flow challenges this part of ourselves to be better.
The yogi says: “Not being optimally centered, in flow and at peace is one of the main factors for the stiffness I see in beginners,” says Finn. “The good news is, the change that I see in people happens fast. It feels incredible to observe this process.”
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The mind-body connection really does impact our confidence and ability to be grateful.
The yogi says: “Most people think the biggest benefit they get after a month [of practicing yoga] is flexibility. This is true, but the greatest gift is vitality and a connection to our higher vibration self,” says Finn. “I see people with so much more life force moving through them. They have more purpose, more joy and you can see it in their eyes.”
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No time for a yoga class? Then you really need to sign up.
The yogi says: “Life gets busy and very few of us have a connection to our innermost self,” says Finn. “Whatever you call it; our soul, our inner light or just oxytocin, we have a cultural amnesia about this place in the heart. We don’t have sacred spaces or time to move stuck emotions out of our body so we can get in touch with this place.”
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Don’t add stress to any risk factors you may have. Take control with yoga.
The yogi says: “In our Yoga and Mind Body Medicine course we spend a lot of time looking at current research on how yoga increases immunity to so many diseases,” he says. “On the flip side, it is incredible how much living in a state of stress shuts the immune system down. Yoga is the antidote.” He references a study on Genomic counter-stress, that showed that in less than three months yoga and meditation can change the expression of 500 genes.
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If you have talked to your doctor and she gives you the go-ahead, that is bigger than a sign!
The yogi says: “Times have changed. Yogis want to learn cutting edge healing science from doctors and many doctors want to learn from yogis. We all want to learn to heal ourselves and others,” he says. “The fact is that yogic breathing techniques are powerful ways to shift our nervous system from the sympathetic ‘fight, fight or freeze’ response to the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ response. […] Yoga is amazing medicine and the effects are incredible for beginners. There really is no reason to wait. Try a few classes to find the one that works best for you as there are many approaches to yoga. You’ll be happy you did.”
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