Looking for a great gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a Birthday gift this year? How about a gift to yourself? Because dang it, you deserve it!
Consider giving the gift of yoga! Giving an experience can offer value beyond measure. Material things help us enjoy our life journey. However, experiences make lasting memories and become part of our being. Plus an experience like the gift of yoga may also improve a person for their lifetime.
I did it!
I did just that in 2001! My husband and I tried our first 90 minute hot yoga class. We sweated like crazy. It kicked our butts! It was a 6pm class and we were in bed recovering by 9pm. And we loved it!
Little did I know yoga would become my favorite and most enriching form of exercise to this day. I also did not know how much I would improve my health with yoga. That is to say, almost 20 years later, I now see how my consistent connection with yoga has improved my life. I speak from experience that yoga is truly a gift worth giving.
Don’t judge, just do it!
Don’t let anyone say you can’t do it, even yourself. Yoga is not about being flexible, in shape, or in competition. Similarly, getting started in any form of exercise, means we begin exactly where we are, no comparison to others. The gift of yoga is an inner journey to experience that will eventually have outer results. So if it’s you, or a friend, buy a beginners package or subscription and just do it!
Where to get yoga?
You can easily internet search local yoga studios. Most yoga studios have special packages for beginners. In addition, most places have gift cards available. This is a great way to get started in a supportive community environment. What a gift that would be!
On the other hand, for those wanting a private experience there are online yoga companies offering thousands of classes. Online yoga is awesome for those needing schedule flexibility and less time away from home, like busy stay-at-home parents. That’s me!
Yoga online – Web & Apps
Gaia has been around for ages and “offers the largest resource of consciousness-expanding videos”, including yoga. They have a $.99 two week intro package. Then $29 for 3 months, or $99 for a year. Both great gift ideas to get started.
Glo has also been offering yoga for many years. Their intro gives 2 free weeks, then rolls into $18 a month. Glo includes meditation, various forms of yoga, mat pilates and more.
YogaVibes also offers a 2 week free trial. You can pick either a $19.95 monthly fee or the annual fee saving 15% at $199.95. The annual fee includes a free Jade yoga mat too.
Most companies include unlimited access with subscription. They also include mobile device apps. There are more companies out there, so do a little research. Then make a decision on one that resonates with you and go for it.
Furthermore, you may need to get a little creative if you are gifting this to someone. One idea is to get a $50 gift card or $100 gift card and use it to subscribe the recipient. That way you keep your personal finances separate since these programs will continue renewing automatically.
Consistency creates results
Yoga is a deep exercise that includes the physical, the spiritual, and the emotional too. Results are holistic. Not only do you gain health, strength, flexibility but you also gain calmness, patience, and persistence. You take what you learn off the mat and into everyday life!
You learn how to let go. Meanwhile, you learn how to bond your mind, body and spirit to work in harmony with each other. Then, over time you learn how to control your fight or flight reactions. In addition, youlearn how to be at peace with yourself. And of course, you how to control your breath. What a gift!
And while all this is going on, you improve your health with yoga by stimulating, compressing, flushing and cleansing from your body all sorts of toxins and unwanted junk. But while yoga possesses a lot of good, many people still do not understand why it is the most effective at keeping us how we were always meant to be – active.
Yoga stimulates the lymphatic system. This is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. So thanks to yoga we flush out junk, keep circulation running well, and support our immune systems. Awesome!
Similarly, yoga also stimulates the endocrine system. This is the chemical messenger system of glands that carry hormones to the circulatory system. They regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things. Phew!
Sympathetic nervous system
Yoga allows the sympathetic nervous system to take a break. This gives our “fight or flight” response mechanism time to relax. It helps us release stress. Ahhhh!
Parasympathetic nervous system
Slow and deep breathing from yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, and lowers blood pressure. In contrast, it increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Everything starts moving calmer and smoother. Yay!
Flexibility and Strength
Moreover, doing yoga involves alternatively exercising every muscle in your being. You literally ring yourself out over time with class variety. Equally, you gain muscle strength and burn fat. Combining stretching with strengthening allows the body to flow. Personally, I have found this key to aging painlessly. The more yoga I do, the better I feel. Those kinks that build up are freed. This alleviates potential chronic constrictions, blocks and damage from building up.
In the same vein (pun intended), yoga is constantly compressing and releasing positions. This is also stimulating healthy blood flow and joint maneuverability. Similarly yoga activates the fascia, the band of webbing that surrounds, connects and supports our muscles, organs, bones, tendons, ligaments and other structures of the body. This helps break down scar tissue build up and allows the nerve network in fascia flow more efficiently.
Focus and Sleep
In addition, yoga is not only a physical exercise, but a spiritual one too. It exercises your spirit by helping you be able to focus on the present. Most recent studies show that regularly practicing yoga improves reaction time, coordination, memory, and even IQ scores. Yoga also helps relax your body and mind better, resulting in better, more restful sleep. To sum it up, yoga is an all encompassing healing resource.
As a result, for all the years I have been going to yoga classes, the knowledge the teachers share during their sessions sank into my memory. Bit by it, I realized how much I’ve actually learned about health and the body just by giving myself the gift of yoga. And what a perfect gift to give someone to show how much you love and care about them! You never know, someone like my friend Kelsy may fall in love with yoga and become a teacher themselves!
On the other hand, if you are still not sure about yoga as gift, do it for yourself – at least give it a trial experience! Similarly, you may enjoy offering another great experience you can do together, like taking a hike! Nature is always healing.