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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Essential Transformational Yoga Facts

According to a recent study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, the number of people practicing yoga has increased by 57 percent to more than 36 million in the U.S. If a yoga practice isn’t on our current calendar or to-do-list, we are missing out on one of the most wonderfully transformative practices available. Here are some important facts that we may not know about yoga.

No matter the issues, yoga can help: Yoga (the word means to “yolk” body and mind) connects us to ourselves and helps us to reset our internal systems for the better. It helps us lower stress hormones in the body, which in turn lower the amount of wear and tear that comes from being constantly stressed out. As we become more calm and relaxed, our bodies can focus energy on their natural healing abilities to reach a more balanced state. When we are relaxed, we also tend to sleep better, which slows down the aging process. It is through that connection and internal calming that we heal on a fundamental, cellular level and gain awareness of the actual moment-by-moment experience of our own physical, mental and emotional selves.

Yoga meets us where we are: Yoga doesn’t care if we are tall, short, thin, heavy, old or young; flexible or not. Some people are transformed as they dive deeper into their practice. They start where they are and move forward from there. It is not true that we must shut off our mind to practice yoga and mediation. It is true that over time, and with a sincere and consistent practice, we can begin to calm our mind and watch our thoughts without getting involved. Yoga helps us to go inward and connect. From that place, we go outward and into the world with a little more peace and compassion for ourselves and for others.

Yoga isn’t a religion: The practice of yoga is thousands of years old and has gone through many interpretations, but at its essence is not concerned with religious faith. At the very core of yoga are the principles of acceptance, non-judgment and love for all.

Yoga can transform our life: Yoga brings us into close contact with our feelings and sensations. There is a saying in yoga that the issues are in the tissues, and when they are released, we begin to feel lighter as the heaviness that has imprisoned us begins to dissolve.

Starting and developing a yoga practice can be one of the best things we could ever do for ourselves and our well-being. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right fit, but the benefits can be transformative.

Hope Knosher, E-RYT500, is a yoga teacher, writer, speaker and founder of Hope’s Yoga, based in Atlanta, holding Sept. yoga retreats in Sedona, AZ.

For more information, call 770-789-7782 or visit

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