Millions of health-conscious yogis will love to share yoga with you in September in honor of National Yoga Month. With the kids back in school, and the cooler months rolling in, is there a better time to get on a mat and begin practicing yoga?

Getting Started:

An online search at Yoga Health Foundation or the local newspaper will be your best bet to finding local yoga studios that are offering a free class in honor of National Yoga Month.

If you don’t want to attend a class, there are many smart phone apps that have free or paid yoga programs as well as DVD’s and even online videos available when you are ready to hit the mat.

Why Yoga?

Yoga bridges the mind and the body – teaching breathing, stillness, power, awareness and physical movement. Yoga teaches us calmness and helps us turn in and tune out (what busy mom of toddlers can’t use some of that?) Practicing yoga often has many proven health benefits, both physical and mental. Every age, every race, every body shape, everyone from everywhere can participate in yoga with only a mat, or even on a soft patch of grass. It’s the simplest way to exercise, with just you and the ground, or floor, using your own body weight as resistance and your mind for balance.

Practicing yoga helps bring about body awareness and often people make healthy eating changes to go hand in hand with their new practice. From losing weight, to looking longer and leaner, to a new sense of inner calm, yoga has benefits that last a long time after you roll up that mat.

7 Benefits of Yoga:

  1. Yoga helps improve lung function by teaching deep full breathing.
  2. Yoga improves flexibility and hence, mobility. It helps us stand taller, be able to stretch further and can even relieve joint and muscle pain.
  3. Yoga has proven health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, lower heart rate and even improved immune function.
  4. Yoga can increase strength. Yes! Even without weights, yoga poses use your own body weight as resistance and helps you get those lean muscles head to toe.
  5. Yoga helps improve concentration, coordination and balance. 3 amazing benefits which are especially important as we age and hit our 40’s and 50’s.
  6. The meditative part of certain yoga practices (well, ALL yoga practices, but especially slower yoga) helps you get in touch with your spirituality and create a sense of inner peace. Most yogis say this is the priceless part of their yoga practice. They are able to maintain a positive, calm attitude amidst the daily chaos and stresses of life.
  7. Yoga can help with weight loss. Faster practices like vinyasa and ashtanga yoga move pose to pose in a flowing style which can not only work up a sweat but burn calories. In addition, it creates an awareness of health and wellness that often will make us choose healthier foods and eat cleaner and lighter.

If you’re looking to add yoga to your life, now is definitely the month to explore it by taking a free class or downloading an app. The benefits you’ll reap-both physical and mental- will be well worth it!