• How Yoga Benefits Your Daily Life

    “Yoga opened my heart up to God, made me feel comfortable in my own skin, and has given me so much peace.” – Kino MacGregor

    When we think of yoga, the first thing that often comes to mind is the physical benefits of the practice. While it’s true that yoga benefits the body, there are also many benefits to be gained from a regular yoga practice that extend far beyond the physical.

    When you make the commitment to the yoga journey, you’ll find that every time you step onto your mat you bring more peace and happiness into your life. This doesn’t mean that your yoga journey will be easy. Most things worth pursuing aren’t, but every moment you spend practicing will train your mind and bring you closer to the inner peace we all crave.

    How does yoga bring inner peace? It does so by teaching us some of the most important lessons in life.

    Yoga teaches us how to overcome difficulty

    When we face challenges in our lives, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We may feel like we are stuck in a rut and that there is no way out. However, yoga teaches us that difficulties are only temporary and that they can be overcome with time and practice.

    When we practice asanas, we see improvement over time. As we continue in our practice our bodies change, and we find ourselves able to do poses that might have seemed impossible to us when we first started practicing. Yoga gives you concrete examples in your life of difficult things improving over time.

    Through yoga, we learn how to be patient and how to persevere through tough times.

    Yoga also gives us discipline

    It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and forget about our health and wellbeing. However, when we have a regular yoga practice, we are reminded to take time for ourselves and to focus on our breath and body. Yoga helps us to slow down and to be present in the moment. It is a chance for us to step away from our hectic lives and to focus on our health.

    When we have a regular yoga practice, we are more likely to make healthy choices in other areas of our lives as well. We are more likely to eat healthy foods and to get enough sleep. We are also more likely to be less stressed and to have more energy. The discipline of a daily practice extends into all aspects of our lives.

    Yoga teaches us compassion

    Yoga helps us connect with our breath and our bodies in a way that we may not have been able to do before. It helps us slow down and be present in the moment. And it also teaches us compassion – for ourselves and for others around us.

    When we are present in our yoga practice, we are able to see ourselves more clearly. We see our strengths and weaknesses, and we learn to accept ourselves as we are. This self-acceptance then extends to others around us. We become more compassionate towards those who are struggling because we know what it feels like to struggle ourselves.

    Yoga also helps us to see the interconnectedness of all beings. We realize that we are not alone in this world and that we are all connected. This sense of connection then leads to compassion for others, because we understand that their experiences are similar to our own.

    When we practice yoga regularly, we find that we are more patient, more disciplined, and more compassionate. We become better people because of our practice, and we learn to see the world in a different way. There are many reasons to practice yoga. It the power to change us from the inside out, and that is why it is such a special practice. Try it for yourself and see how it can transform your life.

    Start your Omstars membership today to get expert guidance for your at-home yoga practice.

    By Omstars

    Photo by Mikita Karasiou on Unsplash

  • Looking Back at My Practice

    Yoga happens in the awareness of a deep breath amidst work calls. Yoga happens in the silence that calms a reactive mind. Yoga happens in the compassion and care I extend to others whenever possible.


    When I took my first yoga class, I wish I knew that I was making one of the best decisions ever. Before that day, I probably didn’t understand the meaning of the word “perseverance” and “consistency.” I was too young and distracted to really appreciate the gift that was presented to me.

    Nonetheless, I stuck around and practiced consistently without really knowing the impact that would have on every aspect of my life.

    I remember being fascinated by how the colors looked brighter after class, the depth of my breath after practicing, and how sweet the ocean breeze felt on my skin.

    Yoga showed up in my life when there was no home.

    No family.

    No stability.

    No focus.

    And in a way, no attachments.

    I was rebuilding my life in a different country. I was alone, and yoga became my companion on this journey. It was the only place where I felt loved, welcomed, and whole.

    I remember the joy of finding an activity that was pure goodness and how positively that affected my life. I didn’t know that yoga would lovingly mold the adult I am today.

    Looking back at my practice, I no longer need a yoga mat to know that yoga is there for me and within me.

    Yoga happens in the awareness of a deep breath amidst work calls.

    Yoga happens in the silence that calms a reactive mind.

    Yoga happens in the compassion and care I extend to others whenever possible.

    I continue to practice postures. But the postures are just a tiny part of an immense world of wisdom. As I flow through movement, I also enjoy the quiet moments of stillness.

    Looking back at my practice, I was given a gift without even knowing it. These days I am more conscious that my practice is here to stay. My practice will always continue to change and evolve. My practice will always surprise me. And my practice will always be my refuge.

    By Adrian Molina


    Adrian Molina is the founder of Warrior Flow. With over 15,000 hours of classroom teaching experience, Adrian is renowned for the sophistication and depth of his teaching style and the degree of mindfulness, compassion and precision he brings to asana practice. He is also a writer, massage therapist, Thai Yoga Bodywork practitioner, Reiki master, and a Kriya Yoga meditation practitioner in the lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda.

    Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

  • The Transformative Power of Yoga

    Yoga transformed my life and my relationship with my body. Before yoga, I thought the only way to feel good in my body was through intense physical exercise. Finding yoga taught me that stillness offers a deeper connection. The mind-body connection of yoga transformed my life. But this wasn’t always the case.

    When I was a child, my body was my instrument. I was an athlete, lifeguard, cheerleader, drill team dancer/choreographer, and avid skateboard enthusiast. I thrived on being physically active. It fed my sense of self. In fact, my physical agility drove my dream of wanting to become a dancer/choreographer on Broadway.

    Everything changed when I was 19 years old. I survived a devastating car accident, where I was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and told I wouldn’t walk again. The news shattered my confidence and complicated my relationship with my body. It felt like I had two lives: life before and after the accident. After a year and half of intense physical therapy, and a miracle, I was able to walk again with the aid of below the knee plastic braces but my journey to self returned in bits and pieces.

    I felt broken after the accident. I disconnected from my body and developed a fear of visibility. I didn’t want to be seen as disabled because I didn’t want others to limit my options. I brushed away help and ignored my physical limitations. The result: I lived in a deep sense of shame for being injured and didn’t know how to reclaim my life.

    On the outside, it looked like I recovered. I returned to college and slowly began sharing parts of my journey with a select few. But the truth was, I was fragile and wounded. I felt insecure when people stared at my limp. Sometimes I body shamed myself and clung to old mindsets that kept my world small. I kept hearing doctor advice in my head that warned that too much activity could erase progress. I now know that doctors were trying to protect me but, in reality, it instilled fear.

    First seismic shift in changing this mindset occurred a few years after the accident. I enrolled in my college’s Study French Abroad Summer Program in Strasbourg, Germany. Many thought I wasn’t up the challenge.

    “How will you manage on your own?” friends and family cautioned. “Europe isn’t accessible – what if you need help?”

    I admit I was scared but I trusted my inner voice. Therefore, I ignored concerns, quieted naysayers, and after asking my Dad for a small loan, my plans proceeded.

    Everything was on track until I met my study abroad professor. Initially, our phone conversation brought hope but my enthusiasm waned after meeting face-to-face.

    I noticed her expression as I walked in. Her eyes fixated on my limp. When, she realized I had caught her gawking, she quickly looked away to avoid eye contact. Even though this interaction was only a few seconds, it trigged rage. Somewhere in my being I wanted to confront her – and stand in my power – I wanted to speak truth to the moment and share hurt feelings. Instead, I shrunk down and squelched my voice to avoid embarrassment.

    Before the trip, many warned that French people hated Americans – but that wasn’t my experience. I bumbled French conversations with waiters and strangers – but never felt judged. I loved walking the streets of Strasbourg alone. Everywhere I went, I received hugs and smiles. I felt accepted for the first time. It boosted my confidence.

    My bubble burst a few weeks later when my professor suggested I separate from the group and take a car ride instead of participating in a group walk through Strasbourg.

    “We’re on a strict schedule and we don’t have time to wait for you to walk the distance,” my professor said in front of everyone.

    “I know my stride is slow but I’m completely capable,” I protested, arguing for inclusion.

    As our conversation grew, I eventually gave in to keep peace. But the opportunity to be real passed. I felt shame for being different but didn’t share because I wanted to belong. Staying silent seemed easier. This encounter taught me a piece of what I needed to embrace. Even though my professor didn’t see me or understand how her actions affected me, it didn’t help that I kept my pain to myself. I’ve learned that I need to speak up to be heard. Stepping into vulnerability is now my super power.

    It’s funny how life begs us to speak truth in moments of confusion. Looking back, I wasn’t ready to face who I was or stand in my own power. Keeping silent was self protection. I was in denial. When I found yoga, I found renewal. Reconnecting mind and body made me feel like a pioneer. For me, doing yoga feeds my entire vessel: mind, body, and spirit. It instills a deep sense of calm in place of fear. It allows me to embrace vulnerability and everything in between. Before yoga, I let doctors dictate how I lived and felt in my body. Discovering yoga led to embracing all parts of myself. Once I truly accepted my body in present and past forms, my world opened.

    As an adaptive chair yoga teacher and mindfulness coach, I now teach others how to embrace their whole body and accept themselves in any form. Even though we’re all on different paths, my journey to yoga revealed self-acceptance, hope, and purpose. I’m grateful for life experience that uncovered this truth. Yoga taught me that being vulnerable is worth the risk. And the truth is, yoga is not for a select group or the able bodied few. Yoga is for everyone, no matter size, shape, or physical challenge.

    By Mary Higgs

    Mary Higgs, MA, is a respected writer, online educator, speaker, mindfulness coach, and disability advocate. Developing a passion for mindfulness and becoming an Adaptive and Accessible Yoga Teacher transformed Mary’s life in unexpected ways. She loves sharing her message that transformation comes from within. She has published pieces in Yoga International, Devata Active, Yoga and Body Image Coalition, and Mind Body Solutions All-Humanity Newsletter. As a RYT, OYI, and certified Yoga for All and Accessible Yoga Teacher, Mary teaches people to explore and trust their inner wisdom, so they can live more authentically. Visit her online at YogiAble.com.

    NOTE: This post is part of a collaborative media series organized and curated by Omstars and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition intended as a deep dive into yoga & body image.

    Photo by Pixabay from Pexels