13 Reasons To Try Yoga

Without even trying, I feel happier and calmer and I put it down to yoga

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This photo isn't of me (sadly), nor am I a yoga teacher so this certainly isn't a sales pitch. I'm a 49 year old woman who hasn't been able to touch her toes since ballet when I was 10. So why write about yoga?

I treated myself to a one to one yoga session at Easter. I was feeling stiff and my back often hurt from sitting at the computer for too long. I've had 4 lessons in all. Each time I have asked Ceri the Yoga teacher for what I needed; things to stretch my back, then some moves that I could do before bed to unwind and then last time some exercises to work my stomach and core. In between sessions with Ceri I have practiced every morning, and some evenings, just running through what she has taught me.

The process has been so interesting as I notice incremental changes in my life, and these aren't changes I am consciously making; these are changes which seem to just happen, as if led from within:

  1. I am much more in tune with my body - I can feel emotions in my body much more strongly and this has been really helpful feedback in situations. Becoming aware of my emotions as they impact on my body gives me really strong guidance about what is going on for me and how I need to respond.
  2. My posture is better - my shoulders are less often up around my ears and are more often down and back. I walk taller and feel more elegant
  3. My eating has changed - I'm not dieting or even thinking about what I eat, but I am more aware of what my body is feeling and needing and when I tune into this it has changed what I want to eat.
  4. I feel like I have more energy
  5. I feel calmer and more centered
  6. I can focus better- when I do some of the poses I notice that when my mind wanders, I wobble, and this helped me focus more in the moment and in my body
  7. My yoga mat feels like home - where ever I put it, it feels like 'my space'. I associate it with time to myself and feeling calm and so just putting the mat out brings those feelings to the fore
  8. I feel stronger - not just because I'm mastering some weird balances, but because I'm trusting my body and my intuition more
  9. My stomach feels flatter - I haven't lost weight, but I am using my stomach muscles more effectively
  10. I am more aware of when I am having thoughts from my ego or critical thoughts - they make me wobble. If I look at my shadow or reflection; I wobble. I am most balanced when I just focus on the muscles working in my body and forget about how 'well' I am doing something
  11. I have learned to take my time - I enjoy holding poses and feeling the stretch
  12. I am more flexible - I can touch my toes and it feels so good to flex and bend
  13. I feel happier - life has the same amount of ups and downs, but I feel more content and a deep level, less easily shaken by the storms

All of these changes have cost me under £100 in yoga lessons and a mat and they feel like they are lifestyle changes which are sustainable and long lasting. What's not to like.

Why don't you give yoga a try too?

Julie Leoni

Life coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Dr

I am a well-being coach who helps people find their 'thing'; the thing that lights you up and gives you joy and energy. Listen to my podcast; 'What's your thing?' to get inspiration.

I support people to create a less stressed life, to boost their well-being, to ask for what they want and to look after their own needs so that they can hear their heart's call and live a more empowered and meaningful life.

I draw on experience and training in bereavement, domestic abuse, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, Transactional Analysis and other therapeutic approaches.

I have 2 sons who I love loads (and who sometimes drive me crazy). I'm a Barefoot Trained coach and I got a distinction for my post-grad cert in 2011.

I have a PhD which led me to look at Emotional Intelligence in schools and I have a number of academic and professional qualifications in various types of therapy.

I have practiced meditation since I went to India over 30 years ago and I'm a yoga teacher. I have written a couple of books, I teach psychology and work with a large variety of coaching clients.