Yoga And Comfort
One of the best yet most overlooked side effects of practicing yoga is your increased desire for comfort. I mean this especially in a physical sense but also in a psychological sense.
Lots of people live with aches and pains and simply believe that’s how their lives have to be. They manage the pain by doing the best they can to ignore it or take medicine to cover it up. Some push their bodies beyond their endurance, feeling pain in the moment yet stubbornly continuing on and paying the consequences later. Many unconsciously believe that they don’t deserve to feel good all the time and live a spartan lifestyle. Obviously some have chronic pain that is unavoidable, and for these people yoga has been proven to help alleviate a wide array of conditions so there is hope for them too.
Everything changes when you start to practice yoga. Let’s talk about why. For one thing your body feels great afterwards, better than it ever has, and as the weeks go by the feeling only increases. It’s probably a combination of sweating out toxins, exercising literally every part of your body evenly, and the meditative aspect of the practice itself that makes you feel so refreshed and invigorated when you have completed a session. Your body will be loose and you will walk with a bounce in your step that you didn’t even know you were missing before.
Once you know what you and your body are capable of feeling like you do not go back, and the awareness of comfort enters your conscious thought in many areas outside of your practice. You quickly recognize when some part of your body is not feeling comfortable and switch positions to accommodate it. In this way pain never compounds itself because you instantly give that part of your body a break. You do more stretches during the day to loosen up. You naturally start to eat healthier food because your body demands it, and this in turn makes your body feel even better.
Increasing your skill level in various poses is an art and you have to walk the razor’s edge to do it safely yet effectively. If you push yourself too hard during a session not only will your body tell you so in the moment, but you will also experience the consequences for days or weeks afterwards, reminding you that you surpassed the zone it could tolerate. You learn to respect the messages your body sends you and you make adjustments in the moment, backing off to where it is safe. The nature of many stretches makes going beyond a certain point not only difficult but impossible, unlike most types of exercise where you can keep pushing through the pain even though stopping would be better for you.
But yoga is hard. It takes dedication and perseverance. Even if you are practicing your poses safely you will be exhausted during and after class. You begin to feel proud of the respect you are showing to your body and yourself, and with this pride comes the attitude that you deserve to feel comfortable in your life. You are doing the hard work and you deserve to reap the benefits.