“The very heart of yoga practice is abhyasa – steady effort in the direction you want to go.”
— Sally Kempton
Let’s talk yoga.
Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for years, tried it once with a free pass or have learned bits and pieces about it from your roommate, there’s no doubt that yoga is on your radar. You’ve probably heard that people start practicing yoga for different reasons, whether it be to improve their mental health or their physical well-being. But there’s probably also a lot you don’t know about the practice.
Here are five surprising facts about yoga.
1. It can help control asthma.
There are many health benefits of practicing yoga daily, from helping to control diabetes to lowering the risk of hypertension. But one more surprising perk of yoga is that it helps to control asthma. Weezers, take note.
2. The word yoga means ‘union.’
It is meant to connect us with the Divine Spirit and merge our minds with our bodies in such a way that shields us from the chaos around us.
3. The oldest known yoga teacher is 87 years old.
Bette Calman taught yoga well into her 80s until she recently retired, which just goes to show that people of any age can benefit from yoga.
4. Yoga has been known to strengthen confidence in young people.
While we’re on the topic of practicing yoga at any age, it’s worth mentioning that yoga has been used to inspire self-esteem in pre-teens.The strength building and physical challenges in the class enhance body awareness and encourage tweens to find their inner strength.
5. Yoga can be the gateway into other practices.
Often times yoga is just the beginning, leading way to other forms of exercise and mindfulness training.
Speaking of yoga as a gateway …
Filmmaker Rachel Dreyfus has joined Cali Alpert in a new episode of our podcast In Conscious Company. Dreyfus discusses her journey creating the film “On Meditation” as well as her experience moving from a practice of yoga to a practice of meditation and how the transformation has benefited her life.