Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga are truly infinite. The practice benefits your body, your mind, and your spirit. You will feel the benefits if you are an athlete, if you are sedentary, if you are young, if you are old, if you are under or overweight, if your demeanor is anywhere between calm to stressed out, and so on. Yoga is for everyone. We had to narrow it down otherwise we would be going on for days, but here are a few of what we believe to be yoga’s most important benefits.

For the body

Flexibility + Mobility

Improve flexibility, posture, and mobility

Contrary to popular belief, most yoga practitioners were born with neither superhero strength nor Olympic-gymnast flexibility — they all start at the same place. Instead of pushing yourself into an ideal of perfection, if you can learn to be kind to your body and accept your capabilities, over time you will experience a greater well-being and improved flexibility, posture, and mobility.

Strength + Stability

Develop strength, stability, and stamina

The yoga postures or asanas are designed to strengthen different areas of your body; each posture complements and prepares you for the next one. You learn how to strengthen your core muscles to help support your body during your practice. With consistent practice, you gain greater energy and endurance which translates to other areas of your life, and the other physical activities you do.

Body awareness

Gain a better awareness of your body

When you do yoga, you learn a lot about your body. Over time and with practice, you start to gain a greater sense of awareness of what your body needs, and what it is capable of. Yoga is all about the little details — micro-adjustments to different poses changing how they feel, paying attention to what you put into your body both before and after a practice, and how both make a difference in how you feel.

The Breath

Master your breath and increase energy

Learning to breathe effectively will be one of the greatest techniques you learn in yoga, and the health benefits are astounding. Not only will your energy levels increase, but you will also experience a residual calmness of the mind and lightness of the body.

For the mind

Thoughts + Emotions

Observe your thoughts and emotions

Most practitioners of yoga are quick to point out that yoga’s benefits go far beyond just the physical level. They can have great positive effects for your mind, specifically regarding your thoughts and emotions. With a dedicated practice, you begin to observe your thoughts and emotions — simply observe — and over time, this gives you more control over your impulses. This ability to distance yourself from your thoughts, emotions, and impulses makes you less likely succumb to those that are unnecessary or harmful, and allows you to live in a more balanced state.

Be present

Live in the present moment

One of yoga’s greatest teachings is to reside in the present moment. The practice encourages you to slow both your body and mind, and this is so important in the increasingly go-go-go rhythm of modern life. When you allow yourself the time and space to slow down and be in the moment, the net effect is that your body and mind feel so good — simultaneously worked and refreshed — that it’s highly likely to become one of those good addictions. If you apply that same mindset to different aspects of your life, you are able to live with more acceptance and gratitude.

Focus

Learn to focus and concentrate

The yoga practice is in large part about concentration. There are many ways this is achieved: allowing the mind to wander naturally, but bringing it back gently when it does using a number of methods such as focusing the breath, directing the eyes to a central point, concentrating on a physical posture. Meditation is an important component to the yoga practice, and one that can be mastered over time with — you guessed it — a dedicated practice!

For the spirit

Let go

Let go and experience true freedom
The philosophy of yoga highlights the non-attachment, or the importance of letting go. That can be in the form of possessions you don’t need, emotions or thoughts that don’t serve you, or experiences from your past that are holding you back. We all have baggage, and the true practice of yoga can help us achieve a certain type of freedom from what holds us back.

Compassion

Practice compassion and kindness
Yoga is a journey to find peace within and to connect with the source of compassion and kindness we all have inside. This comes through increased self-awareness and self-discipline, as well as continuous dedication and study. The yoga philosophy teaches us humility, grace, and selflessness. In the modern world, these virtues are more important than ever.

Connection

Connect with a divine force

One of yoga’s most ancient but powerful aims is to connect you with a divine, higher force, and even more ambitious, to become a bodhisattva, or a person who has reached awakening. Now, you may never achieve it fully, but it is important to note that each posture, each teaching, each technique in the yoga philosophy has a purpose, and that purpose is to help you continue your journey to enlightenment.

Yoga at Bodhi Shambala

Our teaching methodology

While many yoga teachers and studios focus on the asana practice, at Bodhi, we believe that yoga has so much more to offer than just its physical practice and associated benefits. We know that if you let it, yoga can improve every aspect of your life. However, in order to do so, it’s important to allow the yoga philosophy to guide the practice. For that reason, we study it ourselves as educators in order to be able to share its teachings with our students.

Yoga & surfing, together

There are a great many benefits to practicing yoga and surfing together, which is why we offer both at Bodhi Surf + Yoga! Our Bodhi Sessions surf and yoga camps are designed to merge the two together into what, as it turns out, is a union like no other. We could list all the benefits here, but we actually have an entire page for that!

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