If you’re full of new year new you type intentions to exercise more, eat better and generally be a nicer person then we say you could do worse then give yoga a go! We had a chat with Sibylle Dallmann from Yoga Dublin about why yoga is good for us and picked her brains about the benefits of a regular practice. Prepare to be surprised, it’s not all about getting your legs over your head you know. Although that is a nice party trick!

Yoga is as much about touching your toes as it is about world peace, there are many reasons why people get into yoga. I got into it for it’s physical benefits, to heal a dodgy back and help me train for a marathon. I stayed because it helps me digest life better. I tend to make better decisions when I practice and am more likely to live life my way rather than buying into the rat-race and rule book of others.

The beauty about yoga is that you get from it what you want. There are millions of different stylesand tons of super inspiring teachers. If the first one doesn’t light you up try a few more. Believe me when I say it’s worth it! So here are 10 reasons why you should give yoga a try in the new year.

It Makes You Strong
It’s not really about flexibility alone. Most people who come to yoga will find that what they’re really missing is strength, not flexibility. A good teacher knows how to put you through your paces so that you get incredibly strong in places and ways you never thought possible without getting tight in your muscles or your attitude.

It Helps Find Flexibility
Yoga’s unique way of working with gravity, breath and body weight, takes the ‘pain’ and boredom out of stretching. You’ll learn specific skills that will dramatically improve your mobility so you can
move with more ease and less pain.

You Can Train Harder 
Yoga is a brilliant way to integrate and compliment all of your other trainings. All sports tend to challenge us in one way more than others which will create imbalances in your body and can lead
to wear and tear injuries over time. Yoga not only helps you to address those imbalances but it also improves your recovery time dramatically so you can train harder, more often… if that’s what you’re after.

It Improves Posture
Sick of holding your breath and sucking your tummy in just to have better posture? Yoga teaches you skills so you can move with grace and awareness while it also builds those deep seated
muscles in a way that often gets neglected. So worrying about good posture and graceful movements will be a thing of the past.

It Develops Confidence
Yoga develops confidence. The movement, the breath- the awareness-training is all designed to shift how you think about yourself and your capabilities. It’s the kind of confidence that doesn’t
need to make someone else small but stands strong in all environments.

Learn to Love Your Body 
When you practice you cannot help but begin to appreciate your body more. Watching how it adapts, grows and learns to do things you never thought were possible will blow your mind and
with that all the internalised body-shaming out of the water. Life has become so fast and we need to juggle so many things all day long that we don’t even realise how much is on our mind. And whilst having a bottle of vino or crashing out on the couch in the evening seems a perfectly fine way to chill out, know that your brain is still being stimulated and your body is being taxed. Most of us have never learned how to de-compress in an efficient way. Yoga teaches you how to strip away the tension and calm down the crazy mind, so you get to actually relax.

Sleep Better
Tossing and turning in bed, re-living the events of the day in your mind and recycling the same worrying thoughts about tomorrow for hours on end just to fall asleep an hour before the alarm bell rings. Sounds familiar? If you haven’t had a decent nights sleep in months it’s time for you to try yoga. Most people don’t know that meditation and mindfulness has been part and parcel of this ancient tradition since the very beginning and a well taught class teases you into complete relaxation without you even realising it.

Become Resilient 
Let’s be honest. Life is challenging. It’s exciting but it can also be exhausting and so it’s crucial for us all to build better emotional resilience. This is very different from being cold or emotionally
distant. It’s the inner strength to handle set backs. The courage to dust yourself off and get back on that horse when life has thrown you a curve ball. The integrity and vision to re-build when
everything came crushing down. A good teacher knows how to create a class that teaches more than just physical strength. If you find a teacher like that hold on to that class and go often.

Grow Balls
Life is too short to just follow others. We all know it, yet so many of us get caught up in doing things we don’t feel passionate about and living a life that leaves us feeling less than lukewarm. To me life
doesn’t always have to be easy but it most certainly should make me feel alive. A good yoga class gives you a place where you can reflect, re-align and reset. It will help you build the strength,
determination, clarity and will power to see things through your way. Classes are like weekly tune ups to keep you aligned with what’s truly important to you and yoga retreats are a brilliant
opportunity to dive a little deeper and question things a bit more. We’ve all only got one life, so the  question is: What do you really want to do with it?

Sibylle teaches weekly classes in Yoga Dublin’s Dundrum and Ranelagh studios as well as monthly Yoga Basics workshops in Yoga Dublin Dundrum. For a full list of classes and workshops, visit yogadublin.com