Namaste Yogis! September is the official National Yoga Month (a national observance designated by the Department of Health & Human Services) designed to educate about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire. Celebrate with millions of health conscious yogis around the globe by the following:
Try One Week of Free Yoga: Get the 'Yoga Month Card' for one week of free yoga at a local yoga studio and experience the proven health benefits of yoga. Learn more here.
Participate In Yoga Month Events: Hundreds of community events are organized each year in celebration of National Yoga Month every September. Search for events near you here.
Not convinced to try yoga yet? Read on for our top 10 reasons to start your practice today!
- To live in the present. Most of us spend the majority of our time with our phones in our hands, pockets or purses. We rush to and from the office, checking emails and texting as we go. Research shows that we spend almost half of our time thinking about things aside from what we're actually doing -- even though there is happiness to be found when we live in the moment. Yoga offers the opportunity to completely unplug and focus on exactly what's right in front of you.
- To sweat. You don't have to practice Bikram in a 100-degree room to break a sweat. Depending on the type you're doing, just one hour of yoga can burn nearly 500 calories.
- For gratitude. Many yogis begin and end their practices by dedicating their time on the mat to someone or something important to them. Can't we all agree that the world could use a little more gratitude?
- For your brain. Hit the mat to clear your mind. Yoga has been shown to increase brain function right after a practice as short as 20 minutes. It can improve memory and help you maintain focus, too.
- To stress less. Yoga's a top-notch stress-buster. Those who practice deep yoga breathing report feeling less stressed. Plus, exercise itself is a known stress-reducer.
- To gain some flexibility (on and off the mat). Just six weeks of regular yoga practice can significantly increase flexibility, according to research published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Plus, for many, yoga increases flexibility in perspective by prompting us to master new poses, breathing styles and meditative thoughts.
- It does the heart good. Yoga may help lower cholesterol and blood sugar, in turn lowering risk of heart disease.
- For your bones. Research shows that yoga can help increase bone density in older adults.
- To spend some time solo. Even though you may make friends before and after class, yoga itself is generally an individual practice. Spending time alone allows us a moment to reflect, evaluate and observe. What better place to do it than in Child's Pose?
- To rejuvenate. There's nothing quite like coming out of Savasana. You feel stronger, taller, stretched and relaxed. It's like hitting the refresh button on both your body and brain. Namaste to that.