In honor of #InternationalYogaDay, here are five reasons to get your namaste on.
1. It’ll boost your flexibility.
We know: You’re already bendy as can be. But yoga will help stretch out those pesky muscles you tend to neglect, like your hamstrings (spend some time in a Forward Fold and you’ll feel ’em!) and hips (oh Pigeon Pose, you hurt so good).
2. But it’ll also help you get strong.
In a classic Crescent Lunge pose, you need to be able to hold yourself in a deep parallel lunge — which requires both flexibility and strength. It’s easy to whack your leg in the air during your contemporary group routine, but in order to get it up there with control, you need muscles. Yoga will help you get those muscles.
3. It’s good for the mind, too.
Yoga isn’t all ohmmmm-ing and chanting. A major principle of any yoga practice is breath — and we could all stand to breathe a little deeper, don’t you think? Yoga will help calm your mind, gain focus, and learn to take things in stride. The mental gains can be tremendous. Pinky promise.
4. It’ll help ward off potential injuries.
See aforementioned strength plus flexibility. If you’re constantly stretching without strengthening, you’re more likely to get hurt. And if you do a lot of strength work but don’t stretch enough, your muscles are going to get super tight. Yoga helps your body find balance, and can help you avoid possible injuries.
5. It’s fun and challenging.
Sure, you can bust out an Insta-perfect tilt and can hold your developpé for days, but can you do Side Crow? What about Forearm Stand or Scorpion Pose? Many dancers take naturally to yoga because they’re already flexible and have a good understanding of their bodies. But there more to yoga than just being bend. There are so many types of yoga to try — Bikram and Baptiste and Ashtanga, oh my! — and a countless number of poses and flows that are equal parts challenging, fun, and comfort-zone-pushing.
See you on the mat!