Yay for Yoga
Yoga is said to bring your mind and body together. This improves the quality of life: better sleep; reduced anxiety and depression; improved flexibility, strength, and balance; fewer headaches; decreased body fat; increased endurance and confidence.
If you are looking for a way to increase your strength and flexibility, improve your posture and breath, reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and even help you feel more peaceful and calm, you may consider giving yoga a try.
There are many types of yoga, which means that yoga is for everyone—lazy-daisies to advanced athletes. The goal of yoga is not to twist yourself into a pretzel, but to explore your personal potential and to glean the mental and physical health benefits.
All the variations of yoga essentially work by stretching the muscles. This results in easier movement, less stiffness, and better balance.
The various poses of yoga can be gentle, offering relaxation, or strenuous, offering strength, endurance, and improved muscle tone. The strength-building poses can be physically challenging—which means they are also rewarding.
Some yoga poses require that you support your body weight in ways you may have never considered. By accepting this challenge, you will build strength and muscle tone in your arms, legs, and torso.
A primary benefit of increasing core muscle strength is improved posture. When your core is strong, you have the ability to hold yourself up when sitting or standing. The body-awareness that comes from practicing yoga will help you notice if you are slouching. You can then adjust your posture to a healthier position.
As we age, falling becomes an increased risk. The ability to balance and catch yourself before you hit the ground is the difference between a sigh of relief and a trip to the emergency room. Posture is a key factor in the ability to maintain balance.
Breathing is a primary component of yoga practice. Focusing on intentional breath has a calming, meditative effect. This helps to create mental clarity and awareness, which helps us manage stress and adopt a more positive outlook on life.
The language of yoga can be confusing at first, but with a patient instructor, you’ll soon learn what words like “asana” and “pranayama” actually mean.
Give it a try. Practicing yoga a few times each week can make a noticeable and positive difference in your health and overall well-being.