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5 Big Ways Yoga Can Transform Your Life

By Genevieve Cunningham

Yoga changes lives. If you've never tried yoga for yourself, this probably sounds like a bold claim. But millions of people all over the world can attest to the powerful effects of this ancient practice. From the outside looking in, you may only notice the physical aspects of yoga -- a leaner and more flexible body. But it's so much more than that! If you've been thinking of getting delving into the world of yoga, take a look at these five powerful ways that your life may transform before your very eyes.

It Changes the Body

We can't talk about yoga without discussing the body. The body definitely changes throughout your yoga journey. It becomes more flexible, stronger, and often takes on a leaner appearance. Most enjoy the appearance of a yoga trained body, but ultimately enjoy the feeling of the healthy body even more.

It Calms Your Nerves

Yoga is calming. For some, it's frustrating at first, but as you grow and become more confident, it can really calm the nerves. The breathing aspect alone is enough to teach you to lower the heart rate and release stress. If you're a stressed or wound up individual, yoga might teach you to relax.

It Initiates Compassion

There's something about yoga that penetrates right to the heart. Physical movement is just one aspect of yoga -- there are actually eight separate entities of the yoga practice. One aspect that tends to show up relatively quickly is that of compassion. Maybe it's because you start to show yourself a little love, or maybe it's something else. Either way, those who begin the yoga journey often find themselves feeling more compassionate about other people and the world around them.

It Slows You Down

Yoga can be fast or slow, but the act of holding certain poses for a certain length of time requires great restraint. At first, it's exhausting. But as you practice more, you start to find yourself immersed in the pose. This forces your mind and body to slow down, and soon you'll be carrying this slower pace with you throughout your whole life.

It Forces You to Face Yourself

Yoga looks graceful ... or at least it does when other people do it! When we begin practicing yoga, we quickly realize that we have a really long way to go. And coming face-to-face without physical limitations forces us to come face-to-face with other limitations in our lives as well. The more you practice, the more you have to face yourself, and only then can you make significant changes that impact your life for the better.

Most people don't realize just how powerful yoga can be. If you want your world changed, go ahead and give yoga a try. It's not magical or mystical; it's just small changes that improve your life over time. Find a class, begin the practice, and you won't be sorry.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Calif.

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