At the beginning it might not seem so, but I believe that everyone who commits to a regular yoga practice eventually notices that the effects of yoga reach beyond the mat. When you practice you maybe notice that some “stretches” feel really nice and that after you finish a feeling of calmness starts spreading through your body.
Yoga does have immediate effects. It releases the tension that has settled in your body, massages your inner organs and stretches your muscles and nerves. When you exercise your odd releases endorphins what makes you feel really good. However, sooner or later you will find out that it's not only about the postures and that there's a whole lifestyle around yoga.
When you google “ Patanjali” (he's considered to be the father of yoga) you will see that he has been recognizing eight limbs of yoga and physical postures are only one of them. Maybe you will be surprised to find out that in there is not a description of a single posture or asana in Patanjalis Yoga Sutra. Essentially, what is the point of practicing the asanas in yoga class, feeling the stretch, and then going home , yelling at your partner and eating junk food in front of the TV?
Asanas help us, however, to live a better life outside of the yoga class. My practice helped me to transform myself on many levels. On a physical level, I gained a better posture, my right and left body side feel more balanced (I've been playing tennis for almost ten years without doing any sports to balance it out so my right side has always been much stronger than my left one). I have stretched my limits in my physical body what encouraged me to stretch my limits in many other aspects of my life. But I also started living in a much more conscious and disciplined way.
When you learn to resist the temptation to stay in bed and get your ass on your mat instead, it will be also easier for you to resist eating the whole box of chocolates or smoking a cigarette though you decided to quit. During your yoga practice the teacher usually asks you to try to keep your attention on your own yoga mat and within your body. Within those 60-90 minutes you spend in the yoga class, you have the opportunity to observe yourself, focus on yourself and understand yourself. Understanding your own patterns will make it easier for you to understands patterns of other people (which will be super useful next time some idiot upsets you).
I guess the bottom line would be: commit to you on-the-mat practice and be open to your off-the-mat practice too!
Till the next time!☀️