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FutureMemory's avatar

What (if anything), has yoga done for you other than make you limber?

Asked by FutureMemory (24476points) March 23rd, 2010

OK. An old friend of mine (that I’m no longer in touch with) began a personal transformation from psychological wreck to one-with-the-universe awesomeness with the help of yoga. What gives? Is it some sorta meditation thing? I’m extremely ignorant on this topic (obviously) but I am way curious. Help!

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19 Answers

squidcake's avatar

Some people are really into the spiritual aspect of yoga. I’m not spiritual at all but I do yoga all the time.

You just…feel better. Healthier. I don’t know, can’t really explain it. But it’s a lot more than sitting in a pretzel position and chanting “Ommmm….”

lilikoi's avatar

Meditation thing? Yes. It also makes me feel like I have better circulation nowadays. Back when I was in super good shape, it didn’t really do anything for me. It is more of a workout for me now, and I am enjoying it.

hearkat's avatar

It has improved my balance and my strength. It helps me unwind mentally as well as physically. It is not meditation in the sense of visualizing your happy place, but it takes you out of your mind because you are focused on the body and the breath.

dpworkin's avatar

Vacuuming and laundry. (Hi @hearkat , I’ve missed you!)

Blondesjon's avatar

I can, uh, ”reach” now.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Once when I was young, 11 or so, I used to do yoga all the time. I was doing this crazy position I forget the name of and I felt a big CRACK in my lower back. I had been having some back pain from a car accident, and I think I re-aligned my back by doing that position. I didn’t have any lower back pain for a long time after that.

mrrich724's avatar

It also increases your physical strength.

But to answer your question. You don’t necessarily need to do yoga, you just need to find time to be silent, contemplate, relax, destress. Yoga is good at all that. But meditation works, journaling works, chanting works . . . it doesn’t just have to be yoga.

Jude's avatar

“It also increases your physical strength.”

That’s a biggie for me. I tend to do some Budokan (martial arts/yoga) before my run. My body feels wonderful after it’s all done.

And, my balance is pretty good, as well.

hearkat's avatar

@dpworkin: Awwwww, shucks! Thanks for noticing. I’ve been busy with my new beau; and I was in a bad car accident – but fortunately not injured seriously. I hope all is well with you and yours!

janbb's avatar

@hearkat A car accident? PM me.

ftp901's avatar

From first-hand experience, this is what yoga has done for me:

- makes you more flexible (in your mind & body)
– makes you more aware of your body (where you store stress, what your weaknesses/strengths are)
– gives you an opportunity to practice serenity during very difficult circumstances (practicing this in yoga class makes it easier to do when it happens in real life)
– teaches you that discipline & patience do pay off – it’s a metaphor for life in this way
– teaches you breathing & meditation techniques that you can use on a daily basis to relieve stress
– preventatively relieves stress that would otherwise build up in your mind & body & could manifest in disease/pain

Yoga has changed my life and has made it easier and happier. It would be impossible for you to take a yoga class and not have it effect you positively.

Of course, every yoga class is different and some emphasize meditation more than others so you won’t find all of the above in all classes.

hearkat's avatar

@janbb: Done – and it is not private… so anyone who wants the scoop can read about it on janbb’s profile comments.

KhiaKarma's avatar

It helped me strengthen my back and I have been back pain free for 6 years now!
Yoga teaches you to learn your limits, push without overdoing, and that you are capable of more than you think as well as how to purposefully focus your energy. Somehow, if you’re open to it, what you learn about your body and self through yoga will generalize into your real world. kinda cool, actually. I do not regularly practice right now, but I use my exercise ball, which serves the same purpose for me.

netgrrl's avatar

Yoga reminds me to breathe deeply – and that always relaxes me & reduces my stress.

It also reduces aches & pains for days after – like a good massage.

I get these benefits even though mine is more like “yoga lite” because I have mobility issues. Yoga can be done by anyone, in any sort of shape, with modifications.

FutureMemory's avatar

Thank you all so much! I gotta give this a try :)

talljasperman's avatar

When you do yoga… do you get instruction or counseling with it?

Facade's avatar

When I was doing hot yoga, it improved the overall effectiveness of my body. My body is still used to being used fully, and yoga does that. I felt more mentally centered and calmer as well.

hearkat's avatar

@talljasperman: a skilled Yogi moves around the class, checking and correcting peoples postures and offering modifications. The key is to get there earlt and let your concerns or limitations known to the instructor before class – even if just to say that you are a beginner, but especially if you have any history of neck, back or knee problems, etc.

birdland33's avatar

Yoga helped me with golf, both in my approach mentally and the fluidity of my swing. I also have two ruptured discs that have not troubled me since I began yoga. I am not sure if it is luck or extension of my joints just put them in a better place. Whatever the case is, it seems that the yoga certainly helped.

Yoga also taught me how to breath which has helped with sleep, stress, and other exercises.

While I have not practiced yoga in several months, the takeaways I learned are still in play. Now that I have moved, I am looking for a new place to do it. Until I do, I can always work with Namaste Yoga on FitTV.

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