Yoga: Don’t Cheat Yourself
Regular yoga practice has amazing heath and mental benefits. Yoga can be done by anyone of any age level or health level.
One of the philosophies of yoga practice is to be kind to yourself, and to do your personal best. There is no competition in yoga, so you do what feels good without overdoing and hurting yourself. It is a program that increases your flexibility as well as building your stamina.
Besides physical benefits, yoga practice also has some great mental benefits, too. Some types of yoga are about building strength, while others are more about relaxation. So if you want an individualized workout that is good for your mind and body, choose yoga for an excellent all-body work out.
Yoga isn’t just for Women and Hippies
I hear this ludicrous stereotype ALL the time when yoga is brought up. Some people, especially manly men, are stuck on this idea that yoga is done by bored housewives and jobless hippies. Beside the fact that it’s completely untrue, it also makes no sense. It’s like saying that cardio is only done by skinny and fit people.
Yoga is not only beneficial for ANYONE and EVERYONE, it is also used by a diverse variety of people. From average men to professional athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, you name it.
I just wish this silly stigma would go away and more people would stop denying themselves the vast benefits of this amazing activity based on something so trivial as a crude stereotype.
Building Strength: Muscles Used in Yoga
If you need to build upper body strength but don’t want to lift weights, yoga is the choice for you. Many of the poses use the arms and upper body routinely to create the pose. Downward dog, plank, cobra and upward dog poses give your upper body a good workout and add smooth muscles to your arms.
Most of the poses used in yoga develop the body’s core, which is an area that nearly everyone needs to develop. Having a strong core prevents lower back pain and encourages good posture. If you want a workout to make you strong and make you sweat, there’s a yoga style for that, too.
Building Flexibility Through Yoga
Yoga is most known for stretching muscles and creating an increase in flexibility. Yoga poses are designed to cause your muscles to stretch, which also strengthens the muscles. One of the best aspects of yoga is that you notice the flexibility benefits of yoga very quickly after starting a practice routine.
If you do a complete yoga routine regularly you will notice your entire body becoming more flexible.
Pain Relief Through Yoga
If you suffer from any form of arthritis, the flexibility you gain by your yoga practice will keep your pain levels down and keep you moving without the high impact moves of some other exercise programs that cause you pain instead of relieving your pain.
Your flexibility can improve up to 35 percent after a few weeks of yoga practice. Your increased flexibility will keep you moving and reduce your pain levels. Plus, most yoga poses can be tailored especially to benefit people with joint problems.
Breathing for Strength and Relaxation
Yoga emphasizes paying attention to breathing while you practice poses. Many styles of yoga emphasize breathing that is connected to the movement performed during a yoga pose. The breath helps you make the move with ease, and also improves your concentration.
Meditation concepts are also frequently taught during yoga classes that will bring your heart rate down, lower your blood pressure, and give you a feeling of calm in today’s stressful world. These meditative techniques can be used throughout your day to keep you calm and relaxed in times of stress, no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Pose for Your Heart’s Sake
You can use yoga to lower your blood pressure and to reduce your heart rate. Low blood pressure and a lower heart rate prevent or help you heal from:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Immune system problems
As you can see, practicing yoga can improve your body’s performance. It can also improve the way you look and feel by making your whole body healthier. Choose a yoga style that suits you, your lifestyle and the needs of your body and start today.