Recently I had a CT scan. While there the tech asked me, “Why Yoga? What got you started?”

All yogis come to the mat for individual and personal reasons. I decided to be vulnerable and honestly answer this question for myself and my readers.

So Why Yoga…?

For me, I have always loved stretching. It is my stress relief – my runner’s high, if you will. In college, I taught myself yoga using a combination of trial and error and exercise videos. As I got stronger, I worked out with several Yoga and Pilates DVDs. Once I started having kids, this became more difficult. Imagine trying to relax with a newborn screaming or doing a plank with a 2 year old jumping on your back!

After having my last child, my husband noticed I was exhibiting symptoms of postpartum depression, and I reluctantly admitted it to myself. Fear controlled my mind, and I would visualize horrific things happening to my children. I was continually exhausted from lack of sleep. For Christmas* that year my husband got me a gym membership, noting that the gym would keep the kids while I exercised (so no more kids jumping, sitting and crying on me while trying to get a workout).

I loved trying all of the group fitness classes, but I was always drawn back to the yoga-style classes. I noticed my sleep was more restful and my mood was improving. With encouragement from the yoga instructors there I decided to get certified to teach yoga. I currently teach a group fitness yoga class at the gym and a yoga class at a studio.

Why should you do it?

That was my experience, but let’s take a broader look at some of the benefits of yoga. There are quite a few, so I will only hit highlights and link you to some pages where you can read more (all links should open in a new tab or window).

  • Increased flexibility

  • Increased muscle strength and tone

  • Improved respiration

  • Improved metabolism

  • Weight reduction

  • Cardio and circulatory health

  • Improved athletic performance

  • Injury prevention

  • Improved digestion

  • Improved brain function

  • Improved physical relations between partners

  • Aids in stress management (my personal favorite)

  • Aids in management of chronic conditions

Here are some links to content that I thought you might enjoy for further reading:

Stress Management

Health Benefits of Yoga

Other Benefits of Yoga

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Yoga is NOT JUST for women. Yoga is for everyone! Men check this out (or women, make your husbands read it)…

7 things you didn’t know Yoga could do to your body

Bottom Line?

Yoga may be your #1, go-to exercise like it is for me. That’s great – keep it going and enjoy the benefits!

On the other hand, you may be like my husband. He runs 5-6 days per week and uses a mix of Yoga and Pilates once a week to work on specific muscle groups and balance. While he doesn’t have a full appreciation for the relaxation poses, he still gets all the benefits Yoga has to offer.

The point? Whether you do yoga once a week, once a month or every day, there are plenty of benefits to doing it. You will have your own personal reasons for doing it. Now you know my reason – I would love to hear yours.

*Note: Guys, be careful buying your wife a gym membership, especially as a birthday or Christmas present. You don’t want them to think, “sheesh, he thinks I need to work out!!” My husband talked to me about it before he did it, and he let me make the decision.

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