Making Yoga Accessible— For Everyone

Making Yoga Accessible— For Everyone

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Yoga is for everybody. No matter who you are or what you look like, or what your abilities are, you can do yoga, at least that’s what we on Prokensho believe to be true. This is why: This article will show you how to practice and enjoy yoga, and the journey begins with discovering how yoga can benefit you every day.

Read here: The Benefits of Yoga

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” — EXCERPT FROM BHAGAVAD GITA

I.      Making Yoga Accessible— For Everyone

1. Create variations and adaptations

One great reason to appreciate yoga is that any pose can be adapted and varied to suit your needs. Even the most vigorous- and rigorous-looking poses can be tamed to fit your ability. Every pose that we mention on Prokensho has at least two variations, giving you a chance to practice poses that might have felt intimidating before.

In this way, yoga conforms to you and your needs—and you won’t have to skip any poses.  You’ll develop the confidence to take what you gain from your yoga practice off the mat and into the world around you.

2. Increase physical health

More and more people have begun to discover the powerful influence yoga can have on their bodies. When you practice a pose, you’re stretching muscles, helping you strengthen weak areas, further develop strong areas, and potentially prevent injuries. Yoga is also a helpful tool for an aging body.

As you get older, your balance, focus, and flexibility begin to diminish. Yoga can help keep you mobile by improving circulation and stability, managing blood pressure, and reducing the risk of heart disease.

3. Relieve stress and pain

Most people come to yoga to relieve back pain, increase flexibility, reduce stress, or improve physical and mental health. People often begin a yoga practice simply as another form of movement or exercise, but over time, the practice evolves into a journey of self-exploration. Yoga offers a unique connection between the mind and the spirit.  A regular yoga practice can elevate your understanding of self-actualization.

4. Develop mental acuity

Yoga depends as much on your breathing as anything physical. Proper breathing can turn a simple exercise regime into a mindful and transformative experience that leads to greater self-awareness. The philosophies behind yoga can foster body positivity by helping you realize that you’re enough. The central tenets of yoga include nonviolence, contentment, gratitude, and self-study. When you practice these actions, you can start to reduce negative self-chatter and allow yourself to believe how amazing you are.

5. Appreciate your body

When you apply kindness and compassion to how you move and connect with your body, you can begin to cultivate self-acceptance. Yoga invites you to expand your understanding of your body’s natural limits, allowing you to make peace with your body as you move on your mat. Yes, negative body image is an invasive issue in Western culture, and social and economic landscapes profit from body dissatisfaction.

You’re fed a daily stream of unrealistic images of how your body should look and perform, and this creates many issues that directly affect your mental and physical health. But when you practice yoga often, you and your body develop power and influence over your everyday life.

II.   Create your practice

If you’re new to yoga, please know this: You can practice anywhere. If you can’t make it to a yoga studio or would prefer to practice in private, setting up a home practice gives you the freedom to practice for as long or as short as desired. This is also a great way to keep your practice consistent and sustainable. Because yoga is meant to help reduce stress and create peace of mind, try these suggestions to help you cultivate your practice.

“The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” — T. K. V. DESIKACHAR, YOGA TEACHER

1. Make time

Your yoga practice doesn’t need to be 90 minutes long every single day. You can start small, doing a pose or two a day, and work toward performing more when you’re ready. You don’t even need to perform yoga for a single period. If you incorporate moments of yoga and meditation throughout your day, you’ll find opportunities to practice when you least expect them—and you’ll be more willing to practice more often.

2. Set an intention

If you’re looking to make your yoga practice a regular part of your everyday life, start by setting an intention to get moving! Setting an intention is essentially a built-in measure of accountability. Your intention acts as motivation—the “why” behind your actions. It’s up to you to work toward that goal.

3. Create a space

You don’t need a lot of space in which to perform yoga. All you need is enough room for your yoga mat, any props, and your body. One way to make your practice consistent is to choose a convenient spot you walk by every day. You can even place yoga mats in several strategic spots in your dwelling, greatly increasing the likelihood you’ll perform yoga every day.

4. Practice what you love

You don’t have to practice all the poses and sequences mentioned here on Prokensho. Find ones you think you’ll enjoy and practice them when you feel like it. In time, you might decide to try poses that initially intimidated you. Make yoga your oasis away from stress and obligation.

Create a fun playlist and set aside some time to move your body in all directions. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t practice for several days, weeks, or months. When you do return to your practice, start slowly again, doing only what feels right to you, and you’ll find you haven’t missed a step.

5. Find your practice

ProKensho can help you discover how yoga works for you and which poses work for you. You might find that a variation for stability works well with one pose but not for another or that a variation to help with your challenges with mobility doesn’t work for you. In these cases, make your modifications as needed—or just forego a pose, variation, or sequence entirely.

Listen to your body and pay attention to how it reacts. You can always revisit a skipped pose in the future. Because yoga is for everybody—and that means you! —change your practice to make it what you need it to be for you.

Related: Yoga Sequences: Basic Yoga Sequence to Use as A Daily Practice

Yoga 101 guide by Kathleen Holm

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