#1: You breathe better.
I’m talking long, deep breaths that relax your body and ramp up your stamina; how else can you hold plank pose and downward dog for a minute each?
You also think better because your brain’s getting a steady, plentiful supply of oxygen and your lungs aren’t working double time to oxygenate your blood.
Makes you wanna banish fast, shallow breaths to the past, innit.
#2: You feel stronger and are toned all over.
As any yogic enthusiast will tell you, daily yoga strengthens your muscles and loosens your bones. You can also burn fat on the mat, so you feel AND look better. Win-win.
#3: You’re a lot calmer throughout your day.
Regardless of when you choose to do your yoga, you feel super calm all day because you’ve trained yourself to breathe deeper, longer, and slower. It’s a natural rhythm that makes you feel unflappable in the face of stress, and you sharpen your problem-solving skills for the challenges that pop up.
#4: Your body feels lighter and you release tension more often.
This is where those long, deep breaths really give you some bang for your buck.
Through yoga I’ve learned to focus on my breath and any parts of my body that’re clenched with stress or tension. By breathing into those areas, I dissolve the tension and free up the space for my energy and vitality to flow.
Naturally, I find yoga both relaxing and energising. Woot.
#5: You sit and stand straight without even trying.
Enjoy a straight, relaxed posture throughout your day whenever you’re sitting or standing.
I don’t hunch in front of my laptop anymore, and my spine is always erect and loose. I’m super aware of my body, so it’s easy to correct my posture if I hunch or clench my shoulders.
Just think how sexy you’ll look when you stand tall and square your shoulders. Hubba hubba hubba.
#6: You sleep better.
Need I say more?
#7: You’re hyper aware of what you let into your space and how you use your time + energy.
Personally I removed chat applications from my phone because they drained my energy and left me feeling like I hadn’t really connected anyway.
Now I use the extra hours to read, write, take walks, and show up more fully in the present moment. I’m also more mindful of how I use social media and how much time I spend online.
I’m mostly away from my laptop and my phone because there’s more to life than being constantly connected + plugged in.
#8: You see life differently and tap into your inner joy more often.
When you spend a lot of time focusing on your breath and nailing difficult poses, you come to see that life is all about breath and energy. Everything you do demands your energy, and sometimes you have to stretch yourself to meet those demands.
A daily yoga practice frees you from panicky decisions because you’re able to think clearly and decide what’s best for you.
You’ll feel all-around excellent when you make brilliant decisions, and it’s easier to feel joyful when your body’s relaxed + your mind’s clear.
#9: You change your habits and level up.
80 days of yoga will change you from the inside out.
You might find yourself checking less email and having more meaningful phone conversations, or setting your mobile aside and spending more focused time with the people around you.
Yoga is a powerful mindfulness practice, and a daily session as short as 5 minutes at a time transforms you into a more intuitive, actively conscious being.
Actively conscious simply means you’re not sucked into mindless activities that take up most of your day and drain your energy + creativity. See #7.
#10: You free yourself to do your best work on a frequent basis.
When your mind’s clear and your breathing’s calm, you find yourself breaking new ground in your creative expression and doing better work than usual.
Just like the frazzled, stressed out you can’t do much, the calm, energised you can punch holes through creative blocks and play with the glimmers of gold at your fingertips.
I’m a lot more productive and inspired now that I roll out my mat each day, and my writing has improved exponentially faster than ever before.
Then again, I do meditate every day so that could have something to do with it.
#11: You discover who you truly are, what you believe in, and what you’re capable of.
It’s not easy to practise 80 days of yoga unless it’s something you deeply believe in. Your purpose must outweigh your mood because that’s the only way you’ll keep going even on the days you least feel like it.
More importantly, you discover what you’re capable of. Do you have any idea how powerful that’ll make you feel? You’ll control the negative impulses to veg out on the couch and challenge yourself to do what you put your mind to.
I look at it this way: if I have the discipline to stretch on the mat each day, then I have the discipline to dare myself in my life and my writing.
I have the discipline to change my negative habits and build positive ones.
I have the discipline to achieve whatever goal I choose as long as I believe in it and am committed to making it happen.
These are the truths I live as I celebrate my 80th day of yoga today.
What truths do YOU have to share from your mindfulness practice?
Tell, tell, tell.
Image credit: Karen Salmansohn