When I tried Yoga the first time, I found it incredibly challenging and honestly I thought it was boring. I was not very flexible so I was very stiff when I started. I could not even do very basic poses and I was embarrassed with myself.

I eventually stopped going to the studio and forgot about Yoga. A couple years later, when I took the annual health check in Japan, my doctor told me that I might be borderline diabetic.

This shocked me.

The doctor advised me to do light exercises regularly like jogging or Yoga. I have never been a fan of running so I decided to do Yoga again. The first couple of months it was difficult and I always looked at other people doing cool poses and became frustrated that I could not do them too.

Now, not only my body has changed in many ways that I wouldn't have believed possible, but my mentality towards everyday life has changed too. Yoga taught me that it is pointless to compare yourself with others. Just focus on yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. Is there any pain? Stiffness? Are you feeling stressed? Impatient?

For example, when I focused on my body, I noticed that my right side was more flexible than my left side. I also noticed that the day after drinking alcohol, even a small amount, my arms were much weaker.

If you do Yoga regularly, you will become more aware of your body and can begin to feel what is going on with it. Unfortunately, most of us in today's busy world are too out of touch with our body to understand what it is trying to tell us.

One of the keys to long term health is body awareness. To develop this awareness, I recommend at least 15 mins practice everyday instead of 1 hour once a week.