23 Things That Could Happen When You Start Practicing Yoga

Find out what I’ve discovered since beginning a regular yoga practice. 

  1. You might fall in love. With the practice. With the yoga instructor’s teaching style. With the way your body feels as your move through sequences.
  2. Or, you could fall asleep. This happens sometimes in savasana, and yes you might even snore! Don’t worry, this is actually a sign that you have reached a deep level of relaxation. Restorative classes are the most likely to make you sleepy as you sometimes hold poses for up to 15 minutes.
  3. You’ll challenge yourself. This is especially true if you keep your practice up. You will work towards achieving certain poses, and this will become an important part of your practice.
  4. You’ll impress yourself. You will be amazed by what your body learns how to do. You will be able to do things that you weren’t able to do before, including poses you never thought you’d be able to accomplish.
  5. You’ll become a calmer person. The very nature of yoga forces us to slow down and it teaches us how to breathe, two characteristics that will happily spill into your everyday life. You might even begin to incorporate meditation into your practice.
  6. You might develop an irrational fear of farting. Sorry, but it’s true and I had to throw this in!
  7. You’ll make some friends, or at least some yoga buddies. Great relationships can stem from yoga classes, especially if you take the same classes with the same people every week.
  8. You may acquire an unofficial mentor. This is the teacher who challenges you and makes you want to be the best yogi you can be, the teacher whose advice you seek and whose classes you never miss.Pull Quote: Some teachers can’t help but weave philosophy into their classes, and it is in these moments of stillness and challenge that philosophy is the most profound.
  9. You’ll become more philosophical. Some teachers can’t help but weave philosophy into their classes, and it is in these moments of stillness and challenge that philosophy is the most profound. You may meditate on certain thoughts for days and may also find that these philosophies extend far beyond the studio space.
  10. You’ll also become healthier. Many people who practice yoga find it encourages them to be healthier in other areas of their life. They may crave healthier foods, spend more time being active, and swap bad habits out for good ones.
  11. You might lose weight. While yoga does not burn that many calories, unless you’re doing challenging flow-based classes, the fact that they inspire healthier lifestyles overall contributes to leaner bodies.
  12. You’ll develop a stronger relationship to your self. Yoga really helps you get to know yourself, as well as to identify the things that matter to you. By setting an intention in every class, you quickly realize what is important to you.
  13. You’ll start to make more time for yourself. You’ll realize how necessary it is to be in tune with your body and your mind, and how it improves the overall quality of your life. You will make/find/take time just for you.
  14. You may find you ache less. Less back aches. Less tension headaches. Less stress. All of these things equate to less pain and discomfort overall.
  15. You’ll become one of those people who stretches all the time. The more you do yoga, the more your body craves it. Don’t be surprised to find yourself stretching all of the time, or getting up from the couch during your favourite shows to do a couple sun salutations or downward dogs.
  16. You’ll play favourites. You will no doubt look forward to some poses more than others, and you’ll find when you’re practicing on your own you’ll tend to favour these positions. You’ll also fall for specific classes and teachers, and you’ll make more of an effort to attend those classes.Pull Quote: Suddenly, kicking your weekend mornings off with yoga becomes much more appealing than waking up with a hangover.
  17. You might drink less. This one was a surprise to me! But suddenly kicking your weekend mornings off with yoga becomes much more appealing than waking up with a hangover.
  18. You’ll discover how beautiful your city is. Yoga is as much a practice of curiosity as it is anything else. While you may find you become loyal to one studio, you’ll no doubt want to experience others.  Not to mention attend outdoor practices, such as yoga in parks. You’ll also notice beauty in everything: in other people and in your surroundings.
  19. You might become addicted to buying yoga clothes. But don’t worry, you have plenty of options.
  20. You might then want to wear exclusively yoga clothes. Seriously, they’re so comfy! Why do other clothes even exist?
  21. You’ll become more flexible. Constant stretching and moving through the motions will help you loosen up (in a good way!) But as longtime yoga instructor Diane Bruni recently cautioned, combining your practice with strength/resistance training will help prevent you from over-stretching.
  22. You’ll see that yoga doesn’t judge. All ages, body types, and experience levels are welcome in yoga. It is an encouraging and safe space. If you feel uncomfortable at one studio, don’t let that tarnish your opinion of the practice. There is definitely a studio out there for you.
  23. You’ll learn to love downward dog. In my first yoga class, a teacher said, “one day downward dog will be your relief position.” I thought she was insane, but turns out she was incredibly wise. After a challenging flow, downward dog is pure salvation.

As you can see, there are so many wonderful and unexpected benefits to yoga! If you have yet to give yoga an honest shot, I encourage you to try a foundations/beginners class today. It could change your life!

Image: © Alexvalent | Dreamstime.com

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