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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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This is basically part two of my last yoga post: a continuation where we delve into the less obvious, or at least non-physical.  I talk to a lot of people about yoga and what I have learned is that most people are drawn to it for the physical benefits (like discussed here) but are often surprised how it roles over into other aspects of their life.  When new people come to my classes I love to ask them what brought them there?  What inspired them to give it a try?  I get a varied amount of answers but most discuss a physical aspect.  Every once in a while I get someone who’s doctor recommended they come to relieve stress (which I love) but it is definitely the exception not the rule, in my experience.

My reason for getting deeper into my yoga practice was motivated by the physical as well.  I had an injury from running and was looking for a physical activity I could do without making it worse.  I had dabbled with yoga before but it was mainly just going to a class here or there.  Nothing consistent.  As my interest was peaked I ended up moving to a town where there were very few classes offered that would work with my schedule.

After my injury, I established a pretty regular home practice and I was loving it.  The other benefits I was getting out of it were becoming more prominent to me.  I started to grow calmer, less reactionary to others.  I was also happier.  I felt like I was dealing with depression for a while but the more I focused on my yoga practice the more this feeling lifted.  I was practicing gratitude with a lot more ease.  I was kinder to others and more empathetic.  My stress and anxiety (which had been with me pretty consistently for a while) weren’t showing up as regularly.  I started looking at everything a little differently (rose colored glasses to cliché?).  Instead of feeling envy towards others I was having intense feelings of happiness for them.  I realized how lucky I really am.  Gratitude became a natural part of my everyday life instead of having to try and work it in.

 

I can’t guarantee you will feel the same but I do think if you give it a try and let yourself be present in your classes you will start to be present more often in the rest of your life.  And from there, endless possibilities!  This does not mean I don’t still have struggles or that I feel this way all the time.  It doesn’t mean that “bad” things don’t happen to me but it has changed the way I view and react to them.  I cannot be exactly sure what it is about yoga that brought these changes but I have a hunch, a lot of it just comes from taking the time to breath and be present.

Obviously, I can’t promise you will have the same results but I hope this post and the last one have convinced you you’ve got nothing to lose so just get on the mat and give it a shot.

Love and gratitude,

Crystal

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Sep 29, 2015

 

I actually wrote “The Other Benefits of Yoga” blog post first (which goes beyond the physical elements and I will share it next month), then I realized I probably need to start with this post in case you are not completely aware of all it has to offer. 

The benefits of yoga to each person may vary but I think it can benefit everyone!  There are so many different types and I bet there is at least one for you.  Here are some of the physical benefits I have personally noticed since starting my practice:

  • increased flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and length
  • improved muscle tone
  • weight reduction
  • increase in energy
  • stress reduction
  • improved sleep
  • better posture

Other physical benefits can include:

  • protection from injury
  • reduces lactic acid build up
  • improves coordination
  • cardio and circulatory health
  • improved athletic performance
  • better metabolism
  • lessen chronic pain
  • improved respiration
  • prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • better bone health
  • drains the lymphatic system
  • lowers cortisol levels and regulates adrenal glands
  • lowers blood pressure
  • lowers blood sugar
  • lowers cholesterol
  • AND MORE (some we will talk about next month!)

When I first convinced my husband, Dallas, to try yoga he was going to the chiropractor monthly (sometimes weekly) to get his neck and back adjusted.  When he first started doing yoga he was amazed at the results.  On occasion, he does still have issues when he has been off the mat for a while but a quick little yoga session always seems to do the trick!  No adjustment required.

Do you already love yoga?  Have you ever used yoga for physical healing?  If so, how did it help?  I would love to hear your story!  Please share in the comments below.

Check back next month when we dive in to this topic deeper and go beyond the physical benefits of yoga!

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.