7 Reasons To Practice Yoga

One time during a class, the teacher asked me, “Kai, why do you practice yoga?”

 

There was a long silence.  Followed by a bit more silence.  And then everyone just started laughing.  I was hoping that people weren’t thinking I didn’t know why I practiced.  Especially as the studio director.  What was really going on in my head was ALL of the reasons why I practice and how I could possibly fit that into a one word answer.

 

Here are 7 reasons why I’ve practiced Bikram Yoga almost every day for over a decade:

 

  1. Detox.  Okay, this is probably not very yogi-esque, but I love to have me some good wine.  A night out with close friends or family that leads to a glass too many doesn’t always leave me feeling healthy and fabulous the next morning.  My go-to is a super juicy Bikram class to sweat out the toxins.  Yes, it sucks to practice hungover.  Yes, it feels like death during class.  But the cleansing results are instantaneous.

  2. Appetite control.  I come from a family that LOVES. TO. EAT.  My appetite can be voracious.  But I’ve played that game for so long.  You know, that one where you have something deep fried, and then something sweet, and then your hard-earned gains go down the toilet.  Like, literally.  Practicing regularly makes me feel so clean and pure that my body hardly craves for deep-fried any more.  When you take class often, you’ll notice you naturally crave more fresh vegetables and fruit.

  3. Exercise.  There are so many other benefits to practicing yoga, but a main one is that you’ll get an unbelievable workout every time.  Guaranteed.  Even after over a decade a practicing, I can still manage to get sore from Bikram Yoga.  You can expend anywhere from 400-1200 calories per session.  Getting rid of excess energy, energy that would otherwise be used on fussing, worrying, or arguing with other people over small sh*t, dramatically improves quality of relationships.

  4. Clear-headedness.  When the studio was a week away from it’s grand opening, one of the workers burst a water pipe.  I got a video message from my contractor of water flooding through the ceilings into the locker rooms, and a text message that said: “Flooding.”  My jaw dropped.  I rushed to the studio and just stared at the mess for a few minutes.  And then went to work figuring out what to do.  My contractor told me he was amazed at how well I was handling the situation.  That I wasn’t freaking out.  I responded with:  “Yoga.”  I can’t tell you how instrumental Bikram Yoga has been for me in being able to handle stressful situations with a clear head.

  5. Mental well-being.  Running the studio can be stressful work.  There is always something that is not working, out of stock, broken, flooding, not flushing, angry.  All the unglamorous stuff that, luckily, you don’t have to see.  With so many things, and so many thoughts, it can be a challenge to “let go” and get a good night’s rest.  Practicing daily has given me the tools to be present and to surrender to things I can’t change so I can de-stress my life.

  6. Healthy friends.  It’s kind of awesome to be constantly surrounded by people who are health conscious.  Any given conversation at the studio is about someone getting better and healthier and more aware of what they are putting into their bodies.  It helps keep me on track with my health goals and reminds me to live mindfully.

  7. Happiness.  Practicing Bikram Yoga regularly just makes me happy.  When I treat my body right, it runs efficiently and smoothly, like the miraculous machine that it is.  I don’t suffer from many aches and pains, and generally I feel great all the time.  Occasionally, I’ll sneak in a Camel Pose that spans the full first and second sets (without the Savasana in between) because it gets me REALLY HIGH ON LIFE.

 

Having a regular practice comes with so many benefits and good feelings.  I hear stories every day of people healing chronic pain, getting rid of stubborn weight, getting off medications.  But it comes with consistent, regular, frequent practice.  Sorry to break it to you, but once a month just won’t cut it!  So plan your next few weeks of classes, get your butt to class, and get on track to feeling the best you’ve felt in a long time.

 

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