As a widely popular practice, yoga has always been both a physical and spiritual experience. We’re drawn to it because, besides the promise of helping us get in shape, it also can soothe us and help us become more mindful.

In the chaos of today, that’s exactly what most people need–a certain balance and wholesomeness that can push us through hard times and teach us how to live a better life.

But how can yoga accomplish something like that in an average individual? That’s what we’re here to tell you. If you’re interested in why you might benefit from it, here are all the ways it influences your mind and body.

1. It will help you redefine balance.

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Balance is a strangely elusive thing. We all seem to want it in our lives, and yet it’s rare to meet a person who actually has it.

We imagine it as complete peacefulness at all times, a fixed state of being where we always feel happy and relaxed regardless of what happens. When we sign up for yoga classes, that’s what we want the instructor to teach us, and that’s exactly what simply won’t happen.

Balance isn’t about stagnation; it’s not about always being in the perfect, never-changing state of zen.  It’s actually about rolling with the punches, about learning how to react and go with the flow.

Through simple poses, yoga teaches us that it’s not about always assuming the perfect position, but about flowing through the movements at our own pace. You’ll learn how to hold your body and how to respond to changes in pace in a calm, comfortable way.

Follow your instincts and apply this same philosophy to other aspects of your being–when life throws you a curveball, it’s time to adapt, to be fluid and yielding instead of rigid and brittle.

2. It will help you become comfortable in your own body.

Poise is something that comes naturally when you practice yoga. Regardless of your shape and size, you’ll learn how to be graceful, and through this grace, you’ll see yourself in a new light.

Yoga is pretty much the perfect practice for people who like a dose of style in their workouts, and it’ll help you get in touch with your inner goddess if you embrace it wholeheartedly.

Inspire yourself by wearing a cute athleisure outfit and by taking selfies to mark your progress, and enjoy the whole lifestyle that comes with becoming more active. Now you get to be the person who takes good care of themselves, and who looks really good as a result.

3. It will teach you how to enjoy little moments.

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Good yoga instructors understand the power of a soothing voice, and they can help your wandering mind return to the present. You’ll learn how to stop worrying about chores that you haven’t yet finished, or the mistakes you’ve made yesterday and live in the moment.

Focus on the strain of your body, on breathing deeply, on the voice of your instructor. You can also go outside into the garden and focus on the scents and sounds of nature. No more need to keep checking your watch and waiting for the workout to end–this is the time to breathe, relax, and live.

4. It will make you crave to be healthy.

The best thing about yoga is that the whole process of it is generally pretty enjoyable. You’ll have fun during practice, and it won’t feel like a terrible chore to keep coming back to it.

If you stick to it for a while, it becomes addictive, and before you know it, you’ll be the fitness freak of the group, the athletic person who actually enjoys green veggies, long workouts, and pushing themselves to achieve their potential.

5. You’ll learn to do things are your own pace.

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Every yoga studio out there will tell you to take things slow. Unless you’re working at your own pace, you can’t work at all, and there’s no need to compete or get anywhere, no need to show off or brag. You set the goals, you set the pace, and it’s a philosophy that pretty much any modern-day person can benefit from.

You’re not in this world to continually compare yourself to others and their success. You’re there for yourself, and you are the one who gets to define your own triumph.

6. You’ll become disciplined.

You need to be attentive and listen to what the instructor has to say, and you need to be very regular with practices if you want to benefit from yoga fully. You’ll learn how to be more responsible and disciplined, but there’s no strictness involved.

Doing this for your own sake and being aware that each step is a small victory that’s leading you towards a goal is a great way to take control of your own life.

Patience is a virtue that you’re most likely to learn if you take up yoga. Self-confidence, spirituality, and poise are only some of the things that an observant person can pick up, so if you’ve been unsure before, now’s a great time to start practicing.