Why yoga makes you hot

I know what you're thinking ...


Yogis are hot. And today's your lucky day because I'm going to tell you why.

1. That yoga glow

People often talk about that "yoga glow." I think it's similar to the "pregnancy glow" if you're familiar with that. After someone practices yoga, you might notice that they have a certain glow about them; they're radiant. I think it's a combination of several factors:

  • They're a little dewy. (Yoga does make you sweat.)
  • Meditation, an important part of yoga, cleanses the mind. A calm person has a certain glow about them compared to a stressed person. Those "worried" muscles that wrinkle your face begin to soften and your calm demeanor ... well ... glows.
  • Yoga eliminates toxins. 
  • They've created space in their body — opening areas of tightness (and chakras, if you're into that).
  • Yoga can help improve skin. (I'll share details when we get to No. 5.)
  • "Glow" comes from overall health and wellbeing, including a healthy diet.

Which leads us to ...

2. The yoga diet

There is a "yoga diet" but I don't know many yogis who actually follow it. So that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking more about mindful eating. On the mat, the yogi learns to listen to her body and do things more mindfully — including eating. For someone who struggled with an eating disorder, this change for me was gradual but powerful. But I know fewer people who DON'T partake in emotional eating than those who do. You don't have to have a full-fledged diagnosed disorder to benefit from mindful eating.

CC photo via a4gpa on Flickr

CC photo via a4gpa on Flickr

3. That inner light is showing

In yoga we turn our attention inward to discover our inner light (our lotus, our kundalini ... all those good things). We discover our True Selves. And when we know our True Selves, we replace doubt with confidence and fear with calm, because we are able to accept what is, knowing that whatever is cannot change who we are. Confidence, self-assurance, calm ... that's sexy.

4. Yeah, exercise

Yoga is a workout. Some people think it's just stretching, but there are many types of yoga and they do different things. I promise you'll leave a Bikram or Ashtanga class dripping in sweat, where as in a restorative class you will essentially stretch.

Some hardcore yogis believe yoga should be the only exercise. (And if you're a true Ashtangi and are practicing yoga for 4 hours a day, you really don't have time for anything else.) However, most yogis I know partake in some other form of exercise. I run. Some people lift. Or walk. Or Crossfit. The point is that yoga can be an intense workout or a gentle stretch — it depends on your flavor and what you're looking to get out of it.

5. Yogis don't need Botox 

Yogis age with such grace. The first time my teacher referenced her age in class I had to pick my jaw up off my mat.

"I'll be turning 60 so I feel like I should do something big."

WHAT? SIXTY? This woman does not look a day above 40. OK, you could convince me she's an amazing 45. But 60? GTFO. 

Yoga is like the fountain of youth. It's not mystical, it's science. See, as you age, your cells age. They become damaged and your tissues become inflamed. Yoga can help reverse that. Fancy shmancy research has show that oxidative stress in the cells decreased in practitioners after an eight week practice. Bonus points if you do these poses.

Yoga = happy cells = healthier-looking skin. Look out, Botox.

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Lazy Sunday.

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6. Yogis' sleeping game is on-point

Yoga calms the nervous system, which helps you relax and sleep without all those stresses and thoughts circling around in your head. Some smart peeps at Harvard did a research study that showed people with insomnia improved sleep quality "significantly" after practicing yoga for eight weeks. Some other smarty pants' at the University of Rochester found that yoga helped improve the sleep quality of cancer patients.

NOTE: Yoga helps improve sleep quality. Not just quantity. Because yoga helps optimize your sleep, you might find that you need less. 

7. Let's talk about sex

When you think of yoga and sex your mind might start to wander to Tantric sex. That's not really what I'm talking about here.  

In addition to helping improve body image and confidence — which are important aspects to healthy sexual relationships — there are also physiological benefits related to your nether regions. Yoga helps increase blood flow in your genital area which can give your sex drive a boost. It can also improve orgasms. (More on all of that here.) 

Viagra, you might have to join Botox in the backseat. 

If being a glowing, healthy, confident, toned, young-looking, well-rested and sexually satisfied being sounds enticing to you, give yoga a shot. WARNING: You might get super hot.

Read this before your first yoga class

Read this before your first yoga class

Looking up to get over feeling down (LOOK UP, RUNNERS!)