The physical practice of asana helps strengthen and stretch the body.
What we call "yoga" in our daily conversations usually refers to the physical practice of asana, or poses. This physical practice is really just the tip of the iceberg of yoga, but it is incredibly fulfilling and transformative in its own sense. The practice of asana allows us to move and use our bodies in ways we don't usually get to in our day to day lives. It offers us time and space to practice connecting with our bodies and finding ways to move, challenge ourselves, and find our own personal edge.
Yoga offers time to quiet the mind.
Yoga is often referred to as moving meditation for just this reason. By connecting breath and movement, we allow the stress of the day to fall away from our minds. Instead of planning what we're eating for dinner or our next big task at work, we can instead find our breath and feel it filling us, nurturing us, and allowing us to move.
Yoga helps foster a loving, accepting relationship to yourself.
By fostering this relationship of breath to movement, we unify body, breath, and mind. By quieting the mind, we can quiet and still that inner critic inside us all. Yoga offers movement in asana practice to meet your body where it is today, and challenges you to accept it that way. We can learn to accept and love all that our body does for us on the mat. From this we can practice bringing this loving and accepting relationship off the mat and into our daily lives!