IMG_8476 I just completed my 30 hot yoga classes in 40 day challenge and I feel AMAZING! It is still mind-boggling how much good change has happened in my life during the course of this challenge. I knew that yoga was supposed to be good for you, but I didn’t know HOW good it would truly be. My entire life truly changed from the inside out. Here are 5 key benefits that I gained from consistently practicing yoga. I was able to:

1. Detox the body. Duh. Sweating for at least one hour 6 days a week forced me to sweat out crap that I had been putting in my body, even the pollution in the LA air that I breathe. Also, the poses stretch and pressed against my organs which pushed out a lot toxins and left my body through my sweat. Yay!

2.  Live in the present moment.  Life is happening now. And we all tend to have so many thoughts running through our minds that we start to run on auto pilot that we are thinking about something else and not live in the actual present moment. Life is happening NOW. Having to stand on one leg in a standing bow for 45 seconds forced me to have to keep my mind in the present moment. Otherwise, I’d go toppling down because of lack of focus. There were no distractions. No cell phone. No calls from work. No friend trying to get my attention. Just me and my mat for one hour. It was pure bliss. I started to appreciate the moment I was in and started doing that in my regular life too.

3. Have compassion for yourself.  Some days I was super limber and strong. Other days I was weak and tired. Either way, it didn’t matter. I learned to be gentle with myself and not beat myself up for not being able to hold a posture. There is no judgment in that room. I’m not trying to be the best yogi in the world. I’m just being me. And being me is good enough. Just because my legs were not at 180 degree split in my standing bow, didn’t mean that I was bad at yoga or a terrible person. It just meant that that was where I was that day. And that was okay.

4. Love yourself. My body started tightening and becoming more toned. I started to have more energy and grew stronger every day. And I started to glow. Not just from the insane of amount of sweat pouring down my face, but from the happiness that was coming from within. I was feeling more confident with myself and started loving the person that I was. My heart was breaking open and love was starting to shine out. Felt pretty darn good.

5. Gained clarity. Not only did I detox my body (how could you NOT when you’re sweating profusely for an hour everyday?), but I ended up bizarrely detoxing my life. I started realizing in my yoga classes what was truly important to me and who was important to me. Life was throwing obstacles in my path and I started to realize when I could stand up for myself, what I needed to let go of, and who I didn’t need in my life anymore. Those people or jobs that weren’t serving me ended up extricating themselves from my life and it was liberating! Because I was tapping into my inner goddess, my soul, my heart, I was able to discover what I really wanted out of my life and who I really wanted to spend my time. My life has become so much happier. I never thought I would have gotten this much out of yoga, but it really has changed my life. And it changed it for the better!