On a physical level, two of the best (of the many) benefits to a regular yoga practice is learning the importance of breathing and posture. Coincidentally posture influences the quality of your breathing. Without proper posture, your breathing is constricted.
Unless you’ve been in the military, a trained dancer or had a wonderful Grandmother like mine (no hunching, sit up tall, etc.), your posture has probably suffered due to the stresses of life. And until you hit a yoga class, no one in your adult life has probably had the nerve to correct you. Additionally, you know you need to sit up taller but it’s hard work.
Why is good posture important? It not only affects your breathing but also your muscles, bones and nervous system. Slouching constantly weakens back and ab muscles, restricts the movement of the diaphragm and cramps the internal organs. Externally, poor posture gives off a sunken, closed-off, less confident vibe to the world.
Upright asana (yoga poses) such as Tadasana or Dandasana train the body proper posture alignment, from the heels to the crown of the head. Both of these asanas provide space in the body for the diaphragm to move freely, the breath to flow easily and the nervous system to relax. When the nervous system relaxes the mind is calmer.
Best of all, when you stand or sit tall in correct alignment (aka posture perfect), the body is at ease, more confident and inviting to those around you. Overtime, Tadasana starts to become a natural part of your everyday movement. Next thing you know, you’ll be “Grandmothering” your friends & family with love pats to the back.