How to Measure Progress in Yoga PracticeBy Faye Martins

How can we measure progress in our practice? The practice of Yoga has many notable health benefits, a fact that has been well established for thousands of years. These benefits range from a deeper emotional understanding and awareness, a calmer mind and a number of positive physical changes. In fact, all of those positive attributes are just a few of the reasons people turn to Yoga training. However, some people want results that can be actively measured and seen, not just felt. There are a number of ways that progress can be measured within a practice.

Physically, there are a few ways to measure progress and positive momentum of practicing yoga regularly. One of the simplest ways is to take note of body fat measurements. People often find that Yoga can help to minimize body fat. This is not an overnight process and sometimes the changes can’t be seen until the next time a body fat measurement is taken, but it is a benefit that can be attributed to a Yogic lifestyle, which includes a healthy diet. The body’s ability to stretch and bend, along with notable improvements while breathing are more noticeable physical benefits.

Of course, it is important to note that Yogic methodology is also good for calming the mind. That can be one of the many positive attributes people have found attractive about asana, pranayama and meditation. Poses and breathing inspire a concentration that can help to relieve stress along with physical aches and pains. It should also be noted that different types of Yogic practices can elicit progress that can be seen sooner rather than later, and vice-versa. Students and Yoga teachers should have a clear view of the types of progress they want to take away from a practice, but should also be open to the idea that other beneficial effects can and do occur.

Overall, the ability to measure progress in one’s practice is something that students and Yoga instructors can keep track of, although the results are not often readily seen. Instead, they can be felt and expressed in other ways, not just physically. Yogic practices are more than just another fad workout program. It is an enduring form of exercise and way of life that has been proven to be largely beneficial for those that take the time to practice.

Perhaps the most significant measurement in Yoga is one that cannot be checked by instruments. When you ask someone how they feel, they’re answer isn’t based on numbers. They might say they feel great, good, pretty good, fair, or worse. Yoga makes you feel good or better and that’s a measurement too.

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