5 reasons to start a yoga practice
Zoe Woodward: Yoga Teacher
I practice yoga daily, it’s a choice I made a while ago, it’s my one non-negotiable every day. It’s my
chance to shut everything else out and to be present on my mat. A 10 minute stretch or a 60
minute sweaty flow, no time is too long or too short. It’s about listening to your body and moving in
the way it wants to go.
I’m often asked why I practice yoga over other sports and activities and here are my top 5 reasons:
1)It relieves stress
Yoga is a mind body practice; combining physical poses with controlled breathing. Yogic breath
involves deep breathing, filling the lungs to their maximum. As you breathe deeply in and out
through your nose you are expanding and flattening your diaphragm and stomach and increasing
your oxygen flow. Breathing like this for even 5 minutes will calm your mind and nervous system
and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
2)It has amazing physical benefits
Increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone are just a few of the physical benefits of
yoga, but studies show that a regular yoga practice can be an alternative form of pain relief too.
Back pain, arthritic pain and even migraines have proved to be greatly reduced when practising
3)Anyone can do it
There’s a common misconception that you need to be flexible to ‘do’ yoga but there is no right or
wrong about the physical practice, you go at your own pace and know your limits. Flexibility
comes with time and consistency makes it easier. Yoga is about YOUR journey and over time you
will achieve more than you ever thought was possible.
4)You don’t need special equipment or an expensive gym membership
You can practice yoga from the comfort of your own living room without ever having to see a soul
(although I highly recommend attending a regular class for guidance and a sense of community!).
All you need is a mat or even a towel. There are so many websites and tutorials online that will
teach you. Some even have live classes where a teacher will verbally correct your poses for a few
pounds a month. A home practice can be wonderful, allowing you to practice whenever you like
and for however long you like.
5) It’s time just for you, to be unapologetically you
Yoga is the perfect escape from everything and everyone except yourself and the moment. When
you are practicing you are in the present, concentrating on your breathing. Nothing else matters
apart from the here and now. That thing that’s been niggling at your mind doesn’t matter, the thing
that you have to do tomorrow becomes irrelevant. All that matters is you and the space on your
The list goes on! There are so many reasons to keep up your yoga practice but these are my
favourites. So go grab your mat and meet me in down dog. Namaste!