Getting more active and healthy are maybe parts of most New Year’s Resolutions. Sometimes, the problem is that we cannot find which beneficial activities or routines will suit our lifestyle.
In today's episode, I decided that I want to talk to you about the basic principles of Yoga and the beautiful benefits of doing Yoga sessions on a regular basis. I want to encourage you to do it and see how it will improve your life as it did for me.
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Episode 50 at a glance...
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Mariana Thomas 0:00
Hello, everyone. Happy New Year. Oh my goodness, we are in 2022 already, you guys. In today's episode, I want to talk to you about how you can benefit from a yoga session. Yes, you've heard me correctly. A yoga session. Why did I decide to do this, because it’s the beginning of the year, and everyone is making those New Year's resolutions. So let's talk about how incorporating yoga into your daily routine as an exercise can help you. So without further ado, let's get to it.
Speaker 2 0:50
Welcome to Mindfully Recharged with Mariana Thomas. In this podcast, Mariana brings you mindful conversations with people that will develop and recharge you from the inside out so that you can increase productivity in your personal and professional life. This is Mindfully Recharged.
Mariana Thomas 1:10
Welcome back, everyone. It is 2022. Yes, we made it we are here. In today's episode, I decided I want to talk to you about how to incorporate and how you can benefit from a yoga session. Yes, something as simple as that. As you guys know, I'm a certified yoga teacher and I have been for many, many years. I don't even want to remember how many I think over 22. It has been something that definitely has brought so many benefits into my life. Not only that, but I was able and I'm still able to help so many people through the practice of yoga. One of the many things that I do, I wear a lot of hats. And that hat has been a wonderful one. Not only it has allowed me to heal myself, to heal myself from injuries, to keep myself in amazing shape. When it comes to the benefits that you get from yoga. Not only that, but the ability to help in the gift, guys, because when you get the opportunity to help others, it's truly a gift it's truly in an opportunity it is definitely a blessing for me to be able to help so many people through the practice of yoga, in this day, of course, you know, we do it all over Zoom, over online because we don't get to go into the yoga studios, at least, I don't. I quit teaching at a yoga studio a while ago and now it's all over Zoom when I do take private clients, or I decided to teach a group or something like that. The most beautiful thing that I do with yoga is that I pre-record videos and meditations and I bring those to the people that sign for my courses. Okay, so when they become part of my course, they get all my videos for free. Yes, they are part of their library. So I just wanted to chime in with that. So you guys know how you can get to see me and to get to practice with me that way. Let's get to the conversation about yoga in how you can benefit from a yoga session, but not just a session. I want you to incorporate this into your daily life into your daily routine. We all know that yoga is helpful if you haven't heard. Okay, the great news is helpful and is helpful in maintaining our physical health, but what if I told you that it also has benefits for your mental health? Yes, a yoga session can help you to focus on your breath and to relax your mind and body. The most important thing because I think that the whole entire world can benefit from this is that it can decrease the stress levels and it can improve your mood. Yes. Don't we want to have a better mood? We want to be happier. Everyone does. Now you're probably thinking if you haven't heard, what is yoga? Where did yoga come from? What it really is? How do you define it, and for so many people, sometimes they think it’s a religion but I'm here to tell you, it is not. It’s a spiritual practice, okay. And the meaning is to unite, it,s the union of the individual self with the supreme self. So according to the classical definition of Patanjali, which is a yoga guru, he says that yoga means controlling the modifications of the mind. So that means you can have a little more control over your mind, your body, and your soul, probably your heart. Okay, so what is the purpose of that, and the purpose of yoga is to build strength, and what I just told you about the mind. So building the mind, is amazing, because it can help us to build strength in our minds, even in our thoughts, and our feelings. It brings awareness and harmony in both the mind and the body. And I can tell you that when I do my yoga practice, I feel harmonized. It’s really the truth. I do my yoga practice in the morning. At nighttime, I do a very light, practice right before going to bed, because I love to open my body I like to feel that I’m loose. I'd like to feel that I’m not so tired when I get into bed. Remember, when we get to go to bed at night, we're going to be laying down for many hours, right, we use sleep, at least you're going to sleep six or five, eight, and some people may be nine or 10 hours, you're going to be laying down in the bed without stretching moving, you're going to be completely asleep, so your body is going to get a little tighter. So you want to loosen up before you go to bed, so you're not so tight in the mornings. Okay, so yes, so let me remind you, the purpose of yoga is to build strength and it's not just the body strength. It’s the mind, body, and heart strength. It’s to also build that awareness in harmony in both the mind and the body. Okay, and I will say the heart because I feel like it strengthens my heart as well.
Mariana Thomas 8:26
So, what are the basic principles are yoga? You know, so you're probably thinking, what am I going to learn in yoga? What is it? You know, what are the principles? What are they going to teach me, then one of the things that are so important in yoga is the breath. So you are not only going to learn the proper way of relaxation, but also the proper way of exercising because one thing that you learn with yoga is how to properly move your body. Believe it or not, that's one of the things that really intrigued me when I became a yoga teacher, is how I could dance with my body. When I practice yoga, without hurting myself, I can move freely from one place to the other in an intentional manner, without hurting myself, and at the same time, my body was getting in strength or was getting healthier and strengthened in harmony. That is the beauty of this practice. Then there's the breath when you move with the breath and the movement is everything you feel connected between heaven and earth, that is how I feel every time I practice yoga. When I do the sun salutation or raise my hands up to the sky, I feel like I connect with the heavens. And then I bring my arms down and I feel like I bring heaven to earth. That is the feeling of the practice.
Mariana Thomas 10:30
The other thing that is a principle of yoga is proper diet. One of the things that I learned when I was training to become a yoga teacher, was that I needed to get rid of certain things like coffee, chocolate, even though chocolate is so good, I needed to get rid of those, they asked me to quit, at least for the time that I was taking the training. The beautiful thing about me at that time is that I really never had coffee like coffee was not part of my routine was not part of my diet, so it's pretty easy to give it up, but for some people, was really hard. I remember one girl there in the training, she actually quit the training, because she didn’t have the strength to give up coffee. Those who stick up with the program, even though coffee and chocolate and all the things were part of their life, and part of their routine and they kept going in the practice and they got very intentional with their program. They let go of those things. They detach completely from coffee, chocolate, and anything that is a stimulant, and from the lights. It was easy, it was very beautiful to watch how these things were not that important anymore. It wasn't just about the coffee or the chocolate. I want you to hear me very well, where I come from with this, it's not about this thing that they were giving up, it's about the attachment to it, because one of the things that make us suffer in life is when we are attached to things when we are we attached to outcomes. So, it was very easy for them or it was very easy for them to let go of that. Because they immerse themselves into the practice of yoga, they built that strength, that mental strength. I will say I will go as far as to say that emotional strength and emotional attachment that you can have with things like coffee or chocolate or anything else. They became aware of that and they became in harmony with themselves and able to let go of those things. It’s beautiful is it was just beautiful to watch.
Mariana Thomas 13:36
The other thing that is a principle in yoga is positive thinking. The positive thinking. So when we do become a practitioner of yoga, you don't want to be on your yoga mat thinking negative thoughts. Right? You don't want to but the thoughts may arise, but what is going to happen during your practice is that you are going to connect your mind your body, your heart, your spirit, in harmony so beautifully, that you had no choice but being positive and being happy. I can tell you that the yoga practice is so beautiful when you can get in touch with yourself in your yoga mat. Positive thinking is an easy thing to do. So it’s really going to teach you that principle. Even without someone telling you that that is a principle that is going to happen. It’s going to happen naturally for you.
Mariana Thomas 14:55
The other principle of yoga is meditation. Meditation is part of that practice. So one beautiful thing that I learned when I was training as a yoga teacher is that my Asana practice, which is the movements, you know when you see the beautiful poses some are easier, some are a little intermediate, and some are high-level exercises, poses, or movements. But the beautiful thing about that is that you can do it at your own pace, you can do it at your own level. One thing that I realize is that whatever level I was practicing, it was preparing me for the quiet time. The meditation part of the practice, and could be just to sit down and meditate completely for 5,10,15,20 minutes up to even an hour. In my case, I had done four hours of silent practice. It’s that practice of letting go that needed to come from that as a practice. It’s the Yam part of the practice. And then the Yam part is that quiet time. Oh, the Shavasana time, after we had done the yoga practice, whatever time that is, we lay down or you sit down, and you become quiet with your thoughts in your mind and just to let go and it brings your nervous system down because maybe you had been in a hard practice or you had an intermediate or beginner, it doesn't matter, your body was moving, your body was creating a lot of energy and now it's time to bring it down and to sit down and to bring their nervous system back down, back to balance. Now, there was unbalanced, but just to calm it down. And that is a beautiful thing. That's probably the most important part of the practice and the hardest for some people because some people have a hard time being still. And stillness is the most beautiful thing. When you get to do it the right way when it clicks for you that when you are still, it doesn't mean that you are not doing anything, you are actually doing more. When you are completely still and in stillness, you can hear and in stillness, you can dream. In stillness, you can see and you can see more. I love stillness. I love the part of the practice after the end after I move faster after I had done maybe some vigorous practice. It doesn't have to be vigorous. There are some days that you may not start with your practice, you may start with your meditation. That is completely okay. That is completely okay. You can start your meditation in the morning, which I do myself and then I do my practice. But then at nighttime, I again, do my slow practice. And then I meditate. I finish with a meditation practice. Okay, that's how I finished my day. I start my day with meditation and I finish with meditation and in between, that's when I practice, that's when I move my body. In the morning, a little more vigorous, and at nighttime a little more slowly, because I'm preparing my body for sleep for resting time. Okay, beautiful. So, if you are looking for an efficient way to boost your physical and mental health, I want you to consider adding a yoga session to your weekly routine. Every single, I would say weekly, but I always say daily, your daily routine, because it's going to change your life, you know it is to me, and it has too many, many people that I have helped throughout the years.
Mariana Thomas 19:52
Okay, so once again, I want to talk to you about the benefits because I want to convince you that this is something you need to incorporate in 2022. There are many benefits that come with practicing yoga. And yoga, as I had mentioned is known to help improve flexibility, strength, and balance, and balance is one thing that we lose as we age. So it's really a good thing to incorporate this practice to increase and maintain your balance, it also helps to improve posture in your breathing, as I mentioned, and let me tell you if you have been sitting at home a lot in front of the computer especially right now when everyone is working from home, and you're sitting in your desk, and you’re just sitting a lot at home and not doing much because the world obviously is not 100% functioning the way it used to, and that's okay, we got to live with that. I want you to consider this because your posture can actually affect some things in your body if you don't keep it correctly. Okay, as well as your breath. So Yoga is a great way also to relax and de-stress, and it can also help you to improve sleep quality. See, the practice that I do at nighttime is a little slower, more designed to prepare my body for sleep. So you can you know, you can talk to a yoga teacher to design you, maybe a practice that suits you if you're a beginner, or when you join my course if you're in my course, you're going to get videos for free.
Mariana Thomas 22:03
So here are some specific benefits the come with practicing yoga. So let's talk about increasing muscle strength. Because believe it or not, yoga is one of those practices that even though you are not lifting weights, like when you go to the gym, you are lifting your own body weight, so it’s going to increase the strength in your body. Yoga also encourages you to use muscles that are often neglected in other forms of exercise. And what I mean by that when you’re lifting weights, or you're doing the steps, or you're in the treadmill or the elliptical machine, there are muscles that you are not touching and what Yoga does is they really encourage you to use muscles that you didn't even know you have and when you start your practice you are going to understand what I'm talking about. And what this does is it helps you to build your overall muscular strength because it's touching part of your body that you haven't before. You're making also help improve our balance like I just mentioned for flexibility and gives coordination. Coordination is something that we start to lose as we age as well. So not only flexibility and balance but coordination as well because when you practice yoga it’s going to require slow movements and precise positioning. So when you do that, you are coordinating the body and it’s a beautiful thing. Okay. So when you do improve flexibility, flexibility is the range of motion as it joined a series of joints. Okay, so if you feel like your knees are tight, you know you feel pain around your knees and you say I don't know what's going on. Well maybe you have been sitting a lot and those are the little muscles around your knees are tight. And what that is going to cause is pain. So the joints, a series of joints, and all those joints around it, right? So when you move in yoga, and your practice is going to increase the flexibility in those areas like I mentioned before, that you haven't touched before. This is the benefit, the more flexible you are, the easier it is to complete your daily activities without pain or discomfort. So if your knees are bothering you, or your elbows, whatever it is, yoga is going to help you so you can move freely throughout the day. The beautiful thing is that yoga uses a pose that allows every muscle in your skeletal structure to stress. So you can become more flexible over time, as you know, as much as you do it. So so when you do it, repetition, repetition, repetition, it’s going to increase that flexibility, like everything, the more you do something, the better you're going to become. Right?
Mariana Thomas 26:14
Another benefit of yoga is it’s going to boost metabolism and trains your muscles to survive low oxygen levels. So let me tell you something here, it's really important that you hear me here. I have suffered from asthma for a while. And one of the things that have helped me, I'm way better now guys, and I will talk about that some later in another episode and the things that are doing to heal myself, through yoga, the practice of yoga in the breath, and the movement, it helps me tremendously because I know how to control my breath. So I think I have survived this, because I really, really know how to control that. You know, it's the same thing when you have panic attacks or other things that can appear in your life. There is a small study that was found the Hatha yoga practitioners, people who practice Hatha yoga, and Hatha Yoga is how we say is the one that’s not as flowy, not hard. It's more of moving from pose to pose without being too strenuous. What they had discovered about Hatha yoga practitioners is that they were able to increase their BO, two months, you know, a measure of the amount of oxygen, your body you can use during exercise by 17%. That's a huge 17%. So imagine what is going to happen to you, when you start incorporating a yoga practice. So the study authors believe that the deep breathing, the deep breathing, and mindfulness components of yoga, help achieve this benefit. So the connection of the movement with the breath, that's what I was telling you earlier. Right? And the mindfulness part is the awareness. This is common with that is there is the intentionality that you put into it. For me, it's more of the awareness for sure. Okay.
Mariana Thomas 29:02
Another benefit and I love telling you all these benefits because I think at the end, you're gonna be like, “Where are the yoga videos? Where is Mariana scores so I can get all the yoga classes, or let me go and sign up for a yoga class.”, is that it’s going to lower your blood pressure. If you are one of those that are suffering from high blood pressure at the moment, practicing yoga regularly is not something that you're going to do once a month, but regularly for 8 weeks may be able to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. Okay, and there is this study as well on this with patients who do yoga had a decrease in systolic blood pressure, the top number, from an average of 136 to 128 millimeters of mercury. Okay? That is a huge jump. So really beneficial for lowering the blood pressure. So Yoga also is going to help to decrease the diastolic blood pressure, it’s the bottom number, from an average of 84 to 75. That’s amazing! So I hope that that benefit is ringing the bell.
Mariana Thomas 30:45
Another thing that is so beneficial from Yoga practice, and I can testify on this one when I was having those issues with my corporate job, being stressed out, having anxiety and panic attacks, yoga was there for me because it’s going to reduce the pressure and anxiety. I wasn’t depressed but I was having panic attacks. Yoga has been shown to reduce both anxiety and depression and may be particularly effective for people with anxiety disorders. So if you are a person who had been living with something like this, please consider practicing Yoga on a daily basis.
Mariana Thomas 31:43
My favorite for this year is because one of the things that I’m going to improve is my sleep. Yoga, which is already a part of my life, and it has been for over 22 to 23 years, improves sleep quality. I can testify to you that every night when I do my slow practice, it definitely helped. Now that I’m going to be even more intentional, it’s going to get better. So, practicing deep breathing before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster and improve the overall quality of your sleep by increasing levels of serotonin. One thing I have to mention here, this is one of the things that the study has shown about deep breathing, but for me, in my experience, is that the slow breathing t night time is what helps me to kind of mellow down and get ready for bed. So, you do what works for you. What I’m saying is, practice both. Practice slow breaths one night and see how it goes for you and practice deep breathing and see how it goes for you. That is like testing the waters, which one is gonna work. For me, I can tell you that slow breathing is better. If I’m going in too deep of the breath, breathing practice is gonna actually wake me up. It’s going to keep me awake and I don’t want that. I’m ready for bed and I’m ready to rest, so that’s what I want to do. Improving your sleep quality is really important. That’s another benefit that can be inviting to you to start incorporating yoga into your life.
Mariana Thomas 33:55
Let’s talk about this benefit -- back pain. A lot of people complain about this. When I was helping a lot of people in my corporate job with my team, we got a lot of clients with back pain, complaining of back pain. Where that comes from is that sometimes your hamstrings are tight, you’re very inflexible, you’re stressing your life on and on and on, and as you can tell, those are things that Yoga can reverse, right? The benefits are there to clean up things that are going to create back pain. Here’s a review of 13 clinical trials that found evidence that practicing Yoga regularly may help relieve your lower back pain. There you go. Another beautiful benefit is to start getting into Yoga. This is seriously going to reduce your pain symptoms. It really is going to, I mean, just by doing a small move that I know how to relieve that pain from your lower back, is gonna be so beneficial and so beautiful. I do it to myself all the time if I had sat at my desk for a long time or maybe I sat in an uncomfortable position and not been paying attention and now I feel a little jockey on my lower back, so I immediately go to that particular stretch or that particular movement, and voila! That’s it, it goes away. There you go, guys, that is one of the beautiful benefits.
Mariana Thomas 36:06
So there are other ways and other benefits like a great way to stay active and healthy. If you are not moving your body at the moment, you haven’t found an exercise that you like or that suits your lifestyle, consider this. Once you learn to move through your practice and you learn the poses, the correct way, make sure you do, you are going to be able to even practice on your own at some point. In the beginning, you may need a little bit of guidance but it gets to the point where you become your own teacher, not all the time, but most of the time, if you truly become aware of yourself, aware of your body, aware of your breath, your mind, your body, your spirit, you are going to be your own Yoga teacher. Yes.
Mariana Thomas 37:15
I just love Yoga so much that I can talk about it forever, but one thing that I want to remind you is that if you go to the link on the first notes, I think it’s gonna be the first link on the show notes, there is going to be, click in, you’re gonna have to click on that, you are going to download the 2022 Mindful Goal Guide that I created for you, we created for you, and there is a link as well when you’re inside that page, it’s gonna give you the option to get in the waitlist for my 8-week program. With that program, you are going to get my Yoga videos and my meditation videos for free. They’ll become part of my library on the portal. If you are excited about getting to know more about Yoga as part of your daily routine, get on that list. When we complete the number of people that I want for this next round, we are going to begin, and you want to be the first one to get notified. I hope that you find this episode helpful in your journey to achieving your goals and hopefully you have some health goals on to your vision board or wherever you write your goals for 2022. So remember, while it’s important to set goals for yourself, you can only achieve them if you start. One way of doing that is to sometimes get a coach and get someone that can help you to achieve them, or they can be your accountability partner to help you to get there and I’m willing to do that. So go to that link, grab your free Mindful Goal Guide on the show notes, and also get on that list for my 8-week program. We will start soon, so get in there. I hope that you enjoyed this episode today ‘cause I absolutely love Yoga and I hope that you start your practice sooner than later. So with that, my friends, I am out to the next. I hope that you share this episode with your friends and families. Leave us a note, give us a great review, 5 stars, and I will see you on the next episode. Have a fantastic start to the month! See you soon!
Mariana Thomas 38:14
Thank you for listening everyone and don't forget to go to the show notes and click to download your FREE Mindful and Energetic Living Guide. Also, don't forget to share this podcast with your friends, your families, and everyone out there. I want to get this out there to everyone. So thank you for your support and I'll see you next week.