Yoga is a popular practice of meditation and exercise that has helped thousands of people lose weight and get into the best shape of their lives. The mind, body and soul connection that yoga provides is unlike any other form of exercise, giving not only your body a workout but your mind as well. The health benefits of yoga are endless and go way beyond just helping you get into better shape. Here are some of the additional reasons you should consider practicing yoga.
Better posture is achieved through yoga from the core strength that is developed through the practice. Your abdominals are so frequently used to support and maintain each pose that in turn your posture is improved. The ability to sit and stand with your spine straight isn’t easy and requires practice, but that’s another benefit of yoga. During yoga you are also taught to pay attention to your body and with this heightened awareness, you know whether you’re slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.
Yoga teachers are some of the strongest, most naturally muscular people I’ve ever seen. The practice of yoga is all about using your own body weight to tone muscles, which is great. Muscle tone will be improved through yoga, without question.
Static poses such as downward dog, upward dog and the plank pose help to build upper body strength, which is crucial to have as you get older. The standing poses, on the other hand, help to build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps and abdominal muscles.
Flexibility is something people are born with. For those who aren’t born with it, they have to work hard at it if they’re trying to be flexible. Many people who haven’t done yoga before believe that yoga involves having to stretch like a gymnast and only those born flexible can do it. The fact is you can improve flexibility at any age!
Doing yoga allows you to stretch your muscles and all of the soft tissues of your body. This includes ligaments, tendons and the fascia sheath that surrounds all of your muscles. The great thing about yoga is that no matter what level you’re doing, the results will show fairly quickly.
Yoga requires relaxation which means that for those who are stressed out and over worked, yoga could really change lives. Even beginners have noted that they feel more relaxed after just one class. The deep breathing techniques that are taught during yoga help to focus mind on breath which turns off the thoughts about work and helps relieve stress.
There are many biochemical responses that are associated with yoga as well. Yoga lowers levels of hormone neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which creates an overwhelming feeling of calm.
So as you can see, the practice of yoga is no joke. By doing yoga on a weekly basis, you can improve your flexibility and posture, strengthen your entire body and decrease your stress levels. If you thought that was all, you’re sorely mistaken. The benefits of yoga are practically endless, as it will improve your overall health and well being. There’s a reason yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and has continued to grow in popularity. Try it out for yourself and see how you feel after a few sessions. The changes could blow your mind!
Becky Karn is a freelance writer and health advocate. After researching many degree programs including university of southern california (usc) health administration degree online, she would like to go back to school and someday educate the public in making healthy choices.