Asana Practice Makes Me Happy

While plenty of other exercise regimes have always left me tired, worn out and sometimes grumpy at the end of the session, a yoga practice in contrast always makes me feel the exact opposite.  After finishing my mat time, I consistently feel refreshed, uplifted, energetic and, most surprising to me, extremely happy.
Pondering on what leads to this shot of happiness I seem to have just drunk, I am curious about what exactly is so different.  Yes, while my body is working, lifting, sweating, bending, stretching and reaching, my mind finally has a chance to relax.  However, sometimes I think it must be more than that.  The single-focus of my mind is not always entirely present and some days it is virtually nonexistent.
So, what is it then, that makes practicing yoga so different than other exercises and always leaves me in a state of bliss?  Of course, if I knew the answer to that I would market it and sell it for tons of money! However, I can think of several things about yoga that make me feel extremely happy.
1)  Asana practice works all the muscles in my body – even the small ones I didn’t know I had.  I always feel a sense of accomplishment after my mat time, knowing that all my joints and muscles got a good workout.
2)  Yoga relaxes me, even though I’m working hard at the same time.
3)  Yoga is all about me time.  I get to give me, and only me, some individual attention.  I know my body and mind always appreciates this.
4)  Yoga makes me want to be a better person.  Maintaining a regular yoga practice inspires me to make better choices in life, from food choices to major life decisions.  Yoga helps clear my mind from distractions and focus on what I really want in life.
5)  Yoga infuses my body with oxygen, a vital element for life.  My body looks and feels so much better with regular yoga practice.
6)  Yoga challenges me every time I practice.  I never feel that I will ever reach a limit with my yoga practice.
7)  Every time I practice yoga it’s perfect.  Understanding that there is no competition or perfection in asana practice frees me from judging my yoga practice harshly.  Every time I get on the mat, my practice is exactly what it is supposed to be.
8)  Yoga is beautiful.
9)  Yoga makes me feel strong, centered, relaxed, in charge of my life, confident and yes – HAPPY!
10) Yoga is quiet.
So I have listed the top ten things about yoga that make me happy.  I would suggest everyone to log in some mat time as soon as possible and make your own list of why you love yoga so much.  You might be surprised how many things you can think of!

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