17 Proven Reasons To Do Yoga
Designed to inspire and motivate you to Start Your Practice Right Now!
For many yoga practitioners, their initial reasons to do yoga and start practicing regularly, will change over time. In fact, as many as two-thirds of yoga students and 85% of yoga teachers will change their reason to do yoga, most often changing to spirituality or self-actualization, a sense of fulfilling their potential.
“Yoga offers self-reflection, the practice of kindness and self-compassion, and continued growth and self-awareness.”
Earlier this year, I hosted an online campaign to lessen the gap between the experienced yoga practitioners on social media, and people who are interested in learning yoga but don’t feel like they would ‘be any good,’ or ‘not flexible enough.‘
I interviewed 17 experts to share their experience as teacher or dedicated enthusiast.
Within the interviews I asked each of the participants why they started yoga in the first place. You can find the answers to this question further down in this article.
After reading this article, perhaps it may inspire you to book yourself onto a yoga or wellness retreat for your next vacation!
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The 17 Proven Reasons To Do Yoga
“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists” ~ Patanjali
“I started Yoga out of curiosity, as there was apparently something beyond the postures. And actually that was the first ‘sport’ that could take the excel table (of sorting out my nomadic lifestyle and projects) out of my head.”
- Interview: OLA JAS
“I started practicing yoga in 2009 when I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada on an acting contract.
After swimming competitively in high school, I struggled in college and my early teen years to find some kind of physical activity that I enjoyed doing consistently. The sweatiness and discipline got me hooked“
- Interview: KRISTEN SWEENEY
Yoga helps de-clutter the mind and therefore you can direct your energy into developing one-pointedness concentration through practice. You will train the mind to become focused and disciplined by becoming more aware and present.
Research has even shown that after a yoga class you are generally better able to focus your mental resources, process information more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively.
“I started yoga nearly two years ago.
I was always curious about it because of its mysterious character and its mindfulness.
One night I felt particular restless and couldn’t sleep, something I always struggled with.
This night it went so bad that I became desperate and tried an online class for relaxation.
I was overwhelmed by how much it helped me and became addicted immediately.
Since then I practice yoga daily.”
- Interview: KIM WOODLEY
After a yoga class you will often find that your state of mind has shifted and will become more clear than before you practiced. Any worried or complications you were trying to deal with before will have disappeared and you feel light and rested.
Overcome Chronic Back Pain
“When I started my own yoga practice at the age of 25 I wasn‘t sure at all if yoga was something I could enjoy. Actually I felt pretty much, that it‘s not for me.
At that time I was suffering from chronic back pain after a snowboard injury I had at the age of 20. That chronic pain led me into non functional lifestyle choices such as junk food, loads of alcohol, not much sleep and almost no physical activity, besides playing in a punk band. Of course it was not all bad and I also had a lot of fun. But at one point the price for that fun was just to high and I my back pain got worse and worse. A psychiatrist I was seeing at that time suggested me to take pills against my depression or start “something like yoga”.
I didn‘t want to do yoga at that time, as I thought it was something thats only for hyperflexible vegan women in their late 30s. I was wrong. I just knew that I even more disliked the thought of taking pills to control my mind, so I called a friend of mine that happens to be a great yoga teacher.
I remember before my first class, I was reading the wikipedia article about yoga and didn‘t really understand what this was all about and how it would help me.
And then during my first class I realised that I was barely able to touch my knees in a forward bend. As you can imagine it was not the most pleasurable experience to find out that my body was a total mess at the age of 25.
But I kept going to that class and after a few weeks I noticed some improvement in my flexibility. Even more important I started enjoying the relaxation part at the end of every class. To be honest I was looking forward to that Savasana at the end of class the whole time. It was the only thing I really enjoyed about Yoga, when I started.
Those moments at the end of class helped me reconnecting with myself. I started enjoying to notice what‘s going on in my body. Becoming the witness of whats happening when I come to stillness. At that time I was deciding for myself to dive deeper into that whole Yoga experience.”
- Interview: ROBERT BUSCH
Practicing yoga has been proven to be the anecdote for helping to alleviate chronic pain and can actually change the way our brain learns to perceive pain. According to a Harvard medical study, yoga is comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic pain.
“My yoga journey began in March 2015. I was 29 and a physical therapist recommended it to me to deal with issues in my body due to my gymnastics background. My background as a gymnast definitely helps with my physical practice, and has helped with my overall strength. But through yoga I feel stronger, fitter, and more balanced than I ever did before! Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, spiritually — everything-ly!”
- Interview: ADELL BRIDGES
Many of my students who attend my classes for yoga in Cheltenham for the first time, always express how they found it harder than they originally thought it would be. This isn’t to say that my classes are always difficult, but they certainly aren’t easy.
Yoga requires you to use your own bodyweight to push up, down, and bend into different poses. You’ll utilize nearly every muscle group and build strong, beautiful muscles!
“I started practicing yoga over 7 years ago.
It was just a thing to do on my crazy juice fast retreat in Turkey.
I didn’t even dream that yoga would be something for me.”
- Interview: AGI GWARA
“I started practicing 15 years ago whilst living in England.
I had been a competitive horse rider for years and my body was suffering.
I started yoga for mobility and flexibility.”
- Interview: NINA JARNUM
Overcome Pregnancy Symptoms
“I was introduced to yoga while expecting my second child.
Back then I was into kickboxing but I had to stop because of severe morning sickness.
So a friend suggested I tried yoga instead.
I wasn’t too sure but she eventually persuaded me.
I was instantly hooked.”
- Read: Prenatal Yoga For Beginners: Stretching While Pregnant
- Interview: VERONICA BROWN
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Overcome Scoliosis Symptoms
“I found out I had scoliosis when I was 12 years old.
My mom had attended a yoga class at a local gym and told me that I would probably enjoy it!
I went and I was in love!
After the class was over I felt my pain go away and I felt like I was on cloud nine!”
- Interview: JESSICA
Mind Body Connection
“I have been a Reiki healer for over ten years, the practice is very meditation and mind orientated.
I started yoga over 7 years ago to connect both body and mid practice.
I feel so happy not that I have both the healing energy from Reiki and the physical art of yoga in my life.”
- Read: How To Learn Reiki: Reiki Training and Reiki Courses
- Interview: ALI KING
There is so much more to yoga than just the physical practice of asanas (postures/ poses). For example, the relaxation, breathing, self-reflection and meditation will soon have you thinking and feeling more connected between your mind, body and soul.
Not only will you feel more present and centered, but you will also begin to view the world around you differently. You will become both introspective, and at the same time, want to begin bringing more happiness and positivity into your world.
To Grow A 6-Pack
“I was drawn to yoga in my late teens – around the year 2000- but back then there were very few yoga classes in the north of England. It was not mainstream.
Then, Geri Halliwell, the Spice Girl, brought out a yoga video and I used to practice that when I was at University. I would say my main motivation back then was to have a 6 pack!
That fizzled out, but I still had this desire to do yoga. It was a little thought that would pop up now and again.
I would always put blocks in my way though. Telling myself there wasn’t enough time, or that classes were too expensive etc.
Then in my my early 30s – about 4/ 5 years ago, I moved to a small surf village with a yoga class on practically every corner.
I had just had my second child, I was going to the gym 4 times a week and I started practicing Ashtanga twice a week.
My motivation at this point was to escape, to find some peace. Being a mother to 2 young children, with a husband that worked away 6 months of the year I was exhausted. I used to go just for the Savasana- plus it meant my husband had to do the bedtime routine so I got a night off”
- Interview: LAURA HELM
Recovery From An Accident
“I started practicing yoga in 2004, I was 14 at that time.
I started because I was in a accident three years earlier. I got a fracture on a vertebra in the thoracic part of the spine, and two other vertebrates got damaged as well. My neck and my lumbar spine were also injured. And I got a concussion in my spinal cord.
I used to be a super active girl, playing all sort of sports. Due to the accident, I couldn’t really do that anymore.
I saw an add in a newspaper about yoga and I thought to myself “why not try it out.”
I was in a search for ways I could move my body in, that was not hurting it.
So I went to my first yoga class in an age of 14. And I tell you. I thought it was SO boring. But my body completely loved it, and I felt something happening to my mind again.”
- Interview: STINE BRINK
Numerous studies have proven the effects of yoga on patients recovering from accidents and injuries, helping to diminish pain. Even athletes have found yoga to help with reducing post-workout soreness.
“I started my practice at the ripe old age of 14, during the summer between grade 8 and grade 9.
The ”why’s” around beginning my practice are slightly fuzzy.
What I mean by this, is that I had a superficial reason: I was a dancer and wanted to maintain my flexibility over the summer months, and I was really into being active at the time.
But I think the real true reason I went, was because I genuinely really wanted to go. I loved being in the studio! There was something about the practice that felt like home to me.
I got myself an unlimited ‘Summer Sizzler’ pass, as they referred to it, giving me unlimited access to classes for the whole three months of summer, and I am sure I ended up paying around 2-3 dollars per class. I went so often.
I would wake up early in the mornings, walk to the studio, do my practice, walk back stopping at the health food store on the way and be ready for a healthy lunch before most of my friends had gotten out of bed.
I was a very strange 14 year old to put it bluntly!
After that summer I focused less on yoga and went back to ‘regular’ life – which for me was very busy, returning to my practice the following summer.
From there, yoga was in and out of my life, until I took my teacher training in 2010 at the age of 21.
This is when yoga became the through line in my life that it is now.”
- Interview: ALI WASHINGTON
Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility in the body. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class, but gradually they will begin to activate and use the correct muscles. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity, making more poses possible.
“I started practicing a long time ago – when I was still a kid in 2005.
I never had a regular practice though until 2011.
My original reason for practicing yoga was because I thought it was fun, and I still do!
But why I practice has definitely evolved.
I do yoga asana and meditation now for the peace and clarity it brings me.
It’s the time on my mat where I can think in quietness is why I keep returning to my practice.”
- Interview: ALEXA D’ORAZIO
Maintain Physical Fitness
“I first tried yoga in the early 2000’s during my undergraduate degree.
I needed a Physical Fitness course and yoga fitted the time slot I had open.
I hated it.
Whether it was the teacher or it just wasn’t the right time in my life to have yoga enter, I couldn’t stand it.
The constant ups and downs of the vinyasa made me dizzy and it was just a mess.
About 6 years later, I had moved across the world to South Korea and was craving something fitness-y in my life; but it had to be something I could do within my studio apartment that wouldn’t require a lot of equipment and something that wouldn’t make a lot of noise so my neighbours below wouldn’t complain.
I discovered a program called DDP Yoga and after researching it, I decided this would be the program for me.
I purchased it and started using it 3-4 times a week.
From there I branched out to online videos on youtube and Cody App and in my last few months in Korea I found an English-speaking yoga class I could attend so I went there once a week.”
- Interview: MICHELLE DICKEY
Practicing intensive yoga formats such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hot Vinyasa, and other forms of Power yoga will absolutely make healthy physical changes in your body. From losing excess weight, to feeling mentally stronger, you will develop increased focus, patience, and self-awareness.
To Fix An Injured Back
“I started with ashtanga around 2010 to try to fix an injured back and over the next two years fell in love with yoga … so much that I took my first teacher training two years later in 2012.
Over the past six years of teaching my style has changed pretty dramatically as I’ve dived into the spiritual side of the practice.
I still love the occasional ashtanga primary series though!”
- Interview: JEN RUSSELL
For The Love!
“I’ve been growing my yoga practice since 2008.
I was the kind of girl who was always trying new classes.
Dance, squash, pilates, HIIT, you name it.
I’ve tried them all, but it only took me one class to love yoga and I haven’t stopped since.”
- Interview: CLARA
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Why not spend your next vacation experiencing a yoga retreat?
There are so many to choose from!
Whether you prefer mixing it with a bit of surfing in Costa Rica, or your would like to visit the worlds heart of yoga in Rishikish, India.
Perhaps you are in need of a refreshing detox retreat, or simply a relaxing and luxurious stay in paradise which offers you spa treatments, sightseeing tours and daily yoga classes.
You are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly!
Connect with Vibrant Yogini
What reason can you relate to for starting yoga? I would love to hear your views too! Comment below or feel free to send an email to the following address:
Wishing you a life full of opportunities in abundance,
P.S. “Don’t move the way fear makes you move. Move the way love makes you move. Move the way joy makes you move.” — Osho