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Hot power yoga is a challenging practice—both physically from the heat of the room and mentally from the commitment, it takes to build strength and flexibility. If you’re interested in building a practice, here are five ways yoga has benefitted me, and as a teacher, I know hitting how your mat can help you, too.
1. You find the present moment.
Let’s say you’re in a half moon pose. You can try to hover the bottom hand and take the gaze up--that is being in the present moment. Suddenly you aren’t worried about the text from earlier today or the interview for tomorrow. When you experience moments of presence on the mat, it’s easier to start experiencing them off the mat as well.
2. Yoga reduces “noise.”
We tend to walk around with all of these ideas about ourselves that have been fed to us by others—and this chatter is in our heads all the time. The first 10 or 15 minutes of my yoga practice is noise, but after 15 minutes, things get quiet on my mat. I find that the same thing happens out in the world. Because of yoga, I recognize that the chatter goes on, and I know how to get still even if I’m sitting in a chair in my office.
3. You learn to push yourself safely.
Hot power yoga makes you stay in a room even when you’re uncomfortable and want to leave, giving you a safe environment to push your boundaries and grow. Plus, you’re constantly reaching for new poses and building strength, so you get regular reminders of the benefits of challenging yourself, helping you feel okay no matter what comes your way.
4. Your relationships get better.
As you build your practice, you’ll start start to understand who you are, making it easier for you to accept other people for who they are. This acceptance helps you show compassion for the people you love, strengthening your relationships.
5. You learn to relax.
We need to give ourselves special time to settle down daily. After all, we’re busy all the time, and we don’t know how to decompress. Yoga teaches you the tools you need to calm down and connect with yourself. A regular yoga practice helps you connect with who you are, how you really feel, and accept what life throws at you.