Perhaps you started practicing yoga for the booty-shaping benefits, or because all the cool kids were doing it. Besides, you already owned the trendy yoga pants in every pattern imaginable. Let’s hope you discovered that getting on the mat is a moving experience for more than a few reasons.
If you haven’t, check out this list of 108 ways yoga can change your life.
1. It kicks you out of your comfort zone. As a newbie on the mat, even the most basic asanas may be a struggle. There’s nothing like teetering in Tree Pose or twisting in Triangle with a group of strangers watching — it kind of feels like slipping on an ice patch in public. But, hey, it’s cool.
2. It’s mind bending. You never thought you’d think like a yogi, and then you become one.
3. You fall in love with your body — or at least gain a healthy respect for it. One day you’ll be cursing your too-thick thighs, and the next you’ll be glad for every limb and the way your body supports you as you move through your practice.
4. You become fearless. As you move from the basic asanas to more complicated arm balances and such, you lose the fear of falling, and that transfers into other areas of life.
5. You gain confidence. Mastering the asanas you thought were beyond you makes you more than a conqueror; it makes you a yoga god/goddess!
6. You learn to quiet your mind. Even the most chaotic minds can find their yogic serenity when they step into a studio or onto their mat.
7. You learn the lingo. Before your yoga days, you didn’t know your ass from an asana. But once you get involved, you learn a whole new language, and a new way of living, too. But that last part is going somewhere else on this list.
8. You become a corpse. By that I mean, you learn to lie still in Savasana, where being numb to the world is where it’s at.
9. You learn to listen to your body, to notice every sensation, and to honor the journey it’s taking you on.
10. You connect with your breath. We don't often think about our breathing, and how it directs the body, until yoga awakens our awareness.
11. You master your breath. Once you begin step 10, you can move on to mastering the breath and cleansing your body with intentional breathing that detoxifies and cleanses your body and mind.
12. You stand taller. As a result of your newfound confidence, spine-lengthening asanas, and better posture too.
13. You lose your hamster wheel, and start taking life at your own pace.
14. You stop making comparisons…because you realize you’re uniquely awesome.
15. Your flaws become quirks. Yes, you know you’re not perfect, but yoga is not about perfection.
16. You feel amazing in your own skin…because warrior pose becomes a way of life.
17. You see things. You’re sipping chai and noticing the intricacies in everything. When you develop an eye for alignment, you become accustomed to really seeing things.
18. You become an adventurer. Your new vision makes you a curious traveler within your world.
19. You lose control — of your body. That is, you start doing yoga all over the place: foward fold in the grocery store, High Lunge in your hallway. It feels so good to bend and pose, you do it everywhere!
20. You impress your boss (not by wearing yoga pants to the office). Your yoga focus helps you work faster and breeze through your work day.
21. Your sex life sizzles. You’re physically stronger, more toned, tight, and in touch with your body.
22. You discover your pelvic floor. And you learn to engage and lock those muscles, which are integral in orgasm and translate to better sex.
23. You spend more time in the bedroom. See above.
24. Your cupboards get cleaner. Because you respect your body, you're eating more mindfully, and tossing out the potato chips, fruity hoops, and cheesy doodles.
26. You change your email signature from Sincerely to Namaste.
27. You drop the urge to change everything.
28. You respect people’s differences.
29. You honor and even explore other religions and ideas that are foreign to you.
30. You amass a collection of yoga paraphernalia.
31. You get keen on Kino MacGregor.
32. You start obsessively examining your form in full-length mirrors.
33. You become known for your yoga uniform.
34. You become more charitable. Because trinkets don’t matter much anymore.
35. You stop keeping up with the Kardashians. Because who really cares?
36. You discover a new genre of books. You start reading Light on Yoga and yoga-inspired content.
37. You become more “holy.” As in, you get pierced.
38. Lotus becomes your new favorite flower.
39. You become a yoga studio spy in your search for new places to practice.
40. You start Googling yoga terms like chakra and drishti.
41. You start speaking Sankrit, as in Ashtanga, and Kundalini.
42. Your taste in music changes. As you add yoga/pilates hits to your playlist.
43. You no longer find the word guru silly or strange.
44. You require more breaks from your desk. As sitting too long makes your spine feel compressed.
45. You spend less time sleeping; more time exploring your world.
46. You develop daily rituals, inspired by ayurveda.
47. You start using the hashtag #yogalover after all your tweets.
48. You subscribe to yoga videos and start hand-standing in your hallway.
50. You stop mocking vegans.
51. You become a vegan…or at the very least, make friends with some meat-free folk.
52. You stop wearing socks at home so you can hop on the mat when the mood strikes.
53. You start hopping on the mat when the mood strikes. You do yoga intermittently, throughout the day.
54. You sleep more soundly.
55. You learn how to meditate. Without getting up 16 times to do small tasks such as emptying the dryer, or checking your phone.
56. You start collecting zen quotes.
57. You begin reciting Rumi in random conversations.
58. You stop gossiping with your old crew.
59. You acquire a tribe of new friends who are as fit and fun as you want to be.
60. You start making plans to visit India.
61. You rewrite your bucket list. Adding more languages, travel destinations, and over-the-top adventure.
62. You invest in a meditation cushion.
63. You obtain a yoga pass to your favorite studio.
64. You cancel your cable television and forget all about The Walking Dead.
65. You gain a green thumb as you begin gardening.
66. You trade diet cola for kombucha.
67. You stop using sign language (the naughty finger) while driving in rush hour traffic.
68. You start walking more, inhaling nature, because it's so damn inspiring.
69. You make bad hair dye decisions, because fuschia looked fabulous on your yogi friend.
70. You stop sweating your wardrobe, because you live in yoga pants.
71. You find parks in your area you never knew existed.
72. You start researching yoga retreats.
73. You see trees and start posing, rocks and start climbing.
75. You stop frequenting fast-food restaurants.
76. You start cooking more, and eating whole foods.
77. You become a yoga spokesperson. Attempting to convert your couch potato friends to yogis and yoginis.
78. You start being present in every moment.
79. You understand how your ego has caused you to suffer.
80. Your memory improves.
81. Your skin becomes more supple as your circulation increases.
82. You stop needing expensive foot creams and salves to de-crust your heels. See above.
83. Your spacial relation improves.
84. You no longer need walls for leaning. You strike Tree Pose instead.
85. You become less of a klutz as your balance increases.
86. You develop fewer bruises. See above.
87. You’re wide open to ayurveda. And because of that, you stop popping OTC drugs for headaches, common colds and minor aches and pains.
88. You start shopping at organic markets and frequenting produce stands.
89. You’re less navigationally challenged, because you’ve become more mindful.
90. You spend less time wandering aimlessly in parking lots, searching for your vehicle. See above.
91. You suddenly dig the water because the buoyancy makes it an ideal place to practice difficult yoga poses.
92. You become more social as your interest in people piques.
93. You become smarter as a result of your increased curiosity.
94. You start wearing less clothing. Because body shame is lame.
95. You notice your body lengthening, muscles become sleeker and more defined.
96. You become the annoying social media poster. The one who fills all the feeds with yogic quotes, videos, and tips for your friends.
97. You unearth the benefits of warm water and lemon and are healthier for it.
98. You stop using conventional furniture, and spend more time on the floor.
99. Lotus pose becomes possible. And totally comfortable.
100. Your friends call you the pretzel and other cute names.
101. Your compassion increases, and your household expands to include every stray animal you encounter.
102. Your friends call you cat lady/cat man. See above.
104. You stop stressing about the future and start living in the moment.
105. You start saying no more often, as a means of self-love.
106. You make time for yourself because you understand the value of introspection.
107. You stop feeling guilty for disappointing people, fully realizing you are only responsible for the energy you bring.
108. You become the best version of yourself. If you’re doing it right, yoga opens more than your hips; it opens your heart, and your whole world to the amazing possibilities.
Are you ready to rock the yoga life and reap these incredible benefits? Or maybe you've discovered them already. How has yoga changed your life? Share with us below!