We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — “getting a yoga body” is not (we repeat, is NOT) a healthy goal to build your yoga practice around. The way we see it, any body can be a yoga body, and to say otherwise adds an unnecessary pressure and creates judgement around what our bodies are “supposed” to look like. We don’t do judgement here.
If you have goals around weight loss or transforming your body, that’s your prerogative, but we believe there are other goals that are healthier and more productive to focus on. Setting your sights on these goals might set you up to tone up or otherwise transform your bod, but they’ll allow you to be much kinder to yourself in the process. You might even surprise yourself and have a great time!
Keep scrolling for six bulldog-approved goals for your yoga practice.
1. “I want to get stronger.” It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in yoga poses for extended periods of time, and the high-energy brand of yoga that we do around here has the added benefit of raising your heart rate, making it an amazing full-body workout. If you’re feeling like your muscles need to toughen up, we highly recommend making yoga a regular part of your routine. Improving your strength is a fantastic goal to have when you get started!
2. “I want to become more flexible.” We hear all too often that yoga rookies are nervous to grab a mat for the first time because they feel like they’re not flexible enough to keep up with more experienced yogis. But this is basically the ultimate chicken/egg situation. Some people might argue that you need to be flexible in order to get into yoga… but we argue — and we’re pretty sure we’re right when we say it — that getting into yoga helps you become more flexible! If you’re feeling like a lack of flexibility is making it difficult for you to enjoy your favorite activities or to go through your daily routine, yoga is a great way to get stretchin’.
3. “I want to get excited about being active.” It’s easy to get in a rut with working out. Fitness routines can get stale, and when things get stale, we get bored! When we get bored, we’re less likely to keep up with regular physical activity. Yoga — especially bulldog yoga — might be just what you need to shake things up and reignite your enthusiasm for workouts. Our in-studio and online classes all offer something a little different, and there’s no way you’ll get bored.
4. “I want to improve my overall health.” The physical, emotional, and mental benefits of yoga are wide-ranging and well-documented. Stress reduction, metabolism maintenance, improved cardio health, injury prevention, chronic pain reduction, better sleep, decreased inflammation… you name it! All of these factors together can help you take back control of your general health and to experience a better quality of life. Who doesn’t want that?
5. “I want to find a new community.” One of the best side effects of getting into a new activity is the friends that it gets you! When you check out a yoga class, you’re bound to find yourself chatting with some of the people around you, whether it’s about how challenging the flow was or how cute your neighbor’s tanktop is! We do our best to cultivate extra-awesome community vibes here at bulldog, both in our Villanova and Boulder studios and online. Making new friends as a so-called “grown-up” can be tricky, and getting involved with yoga may be the perfect solution for you if you’re in search of new pals.
6. “I want to feel good about myself!” Whether your self-confidence is lacking because you’re not feeling as if you’re in the best possible shape or because you’re kind of in an emotional rut, yoga can help get you back on track. Walk into your next yoga class with the singular goal to feel better about you. It’s easy to make small progress toward achieving that kind of goal, and those little wins will keep you motivated to return to the mat again and again.
Which of these goals resonates with you most? Tell us on Facebook + Twitter!
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Our blog’s all about a different perspective on yoga – and life.
Let’s have some fun and not take this stuff too seriously!