Yoga is a great form of exercise, both in the physical and mental realm. According to the American Yoga Association, yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years; there are ancient stone carvings found in the Indus Valley of figures doing traditional yoga positions. It grew in popularity in the United States around the 1960s, and is widely used to improve physical health. Yoga is used to help alleviate back pain, reduce depression, and the risk of heart disease. It is also used as a way to help in managing stress and can serve as a form of meditation. It is composed of exercise of the body, careful breathing techniques, and meditation of the mind.
This form of exercise can help you get active and improve your elasticity, while also helping to keep your heart healthy, and by helping you achieve patience and relaxation. Yoga can help you to let go of negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. It is known to be a great way to find inner peace, and to center oneself. Taking the lessons learned through practice of yoga and translating them into your life can be a great way of improving the way you deal with situations in your everyday life.
Cassandra Salas-Porras has been a student of Yoga for 13 years, and been a Yoga instructor for 2 years, earning her yoga teaching certification in Bali, Indonesia. In giving a class to girls at the Latinitas Healthy Chica camp this past summer, she went through various poses, and instructed the girls to “inhale courage, exhale fear.” She shared the following about her experience with yoga, and how she thinks it can be helpful in one’s life.
“Yoga can help with confidence, in trust with oneself and towards others, with physical health and with body image, with quality of sleep, in relationships towards others, with anxiety, stress, maybe a little depression, sadness, and patience. Really, it helps with anything life throws at you. You learn how to manage these things in the best way possible,” Cassandra shared.
“I started when I was 18 or 19 years old, but the younger you start, you grow up surfing through life in an easier way. I see my life as before and after. It has helped me be truer to myself and to have congruence and coherence in my life, and to be healthy in mind, body, and soul,” she added.
Cassandra shared that yoga is tough, but rewarding, and has brought an inner strength to her life. Finding a way to get active that is enjoyable and fun is the perfect way to stay healthy. Yoga may be that outlet for you! If you’re interested in what yoga can bring to your life, don’t be afraid to try out a class for the first time or search for more information about it. It could turn out to be life-changing for you, too!