Do you suffer from a tight, rigid body? Do you ever feel like you’ve been breathing shallowly all day? Can you not recall the last time you truly relaxed on a regular, routine day?
If any of these sound familiar, your body and mind are trying to tell you to step onto your yoga mat.
And if the excuse at the tip of your tongue is that you’re too busy, that’s exactly why you should make time for yoga. The practice of yoga connects you to your innermost self – a sacred space where you’re able to move trapped emotions out of your body.
Here are five not-so-silent signs you should get back in the studio.
1. Your body feels extraordinarily tight and rigid.
A tight, inflexible body often comes from sitting too much. If your days are filled with long commutes or motionless hours at a desk, you’ll benefit greatly from the dynamic movements and hip openers found in a yoga class. Check out these tips on how to incorporate yoga into your desk job.
2. You often find that your breathing is short and rapid.
Short breaths are a sign that you may be stressed. The world doesn’t often prepare us with the tools we need to stay centered in stressful situations. If you feel like you’ve been breathing shallowly and unconsciously all day, yoga’s breathing techniques – like Ujjayi – can help. They take us out of our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and move us into our parasympathetic response, which looks a lot more like rest and digest.
3. You feel mentally unbalanced or suffer from a mental illness.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression – whether in the short-term or a long-term condition – yoga can be your best friend. By lowering cortisol levels and releasing the tension, yoga calms the mind’s chatter and lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Read more about how yogic breath eases symptoms of anxiety.
4. You’re not sleeping well.
For those who suffer from insomnia or who simply struggle with a lack of sleep once in a while, yoga provides a better sleep quality for practitioners. Psychology Today demonstrates the truthfulness in this using a study conducted by Harvard Medical School. And here are a couple of poses I recommend weaving into your home practice to help you sleep better.
5. You can’t remember the last time you relaxed on a regular, routine day.
I’m not talking about taking a vacation or going to the spa. When was the last time you made room for relaxing self-care in your regular routine? If this is the case for you, your body and mind are likely begging you to step on the mat, so you can learn to relax your body and clear your chaotic mind.
Whether you’re a regular member or have never stepped onto a yoga mat, chances are your body and mind are not-so-subtly telling you it’s time to practice. Trust me, you’ll see the benefits.