Why You Need Yoga

Trigg Skoe

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By Carly McGowan 

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Over the course of the past few decades, our society has created a perception of yoga that has resulted in barriers to entry to this beneficial practice. One of those perceptions is that to be ‘successful’ at yoga, one must be able to touch their toes or be physically fit. Another is that to take part in a yoga practice, one must be a so-called ‘hippie’.

These perceptions are far from the truth. At its roots, yoga is a way of life, not even necessarily a physical practice. There are eight main aspects, or limbs, of traditional yoga. Of these eight, three are associated with turning inwards using concentration and meditation. Two others relate to moral restraints and the relationship with one’s self. Finally, one of the limbs is associated with breath-work and another is associated with physical postures. As such, yoga is more than an exercise class.

There is much to be gained from a yoga practice that goes beyond physical strength or flexibility. To address the first barrier to yoga that many people experience: one does not have to be flexible or strong or have good balance to go to a yoga class. One also doesn’t have to go to a class that prioritizes these elements of yoga. As mentioned earlier, yoga classes have the capacity to incorporate much more than just a physical practice. Attending a yoga class provides participants with breath-work, meditation, inner connection, and relaxation, among other benefits.

To address the second perceived barrier of entry to yoga: anyone, from anywhere, with any identity, can benefit greatly from yoga. It is a wholesome practice and way of life that increases focus, encourages relaxation, and invites personal growth. Not to mention, it leads to sustained physical and mental health.

Fort Collins has a plethora of fantastic yoga classes. If you are looking for something close and convenient, the CSU Rec Center has a full yoga schedule with a variety of times and class styles. For a class with an emphasis on meditation and yogic philosophy, Om Ananda is a wonderful option. Finally, for a well-rounded, community based studio, Old Town Yoga is the place for you.