I started doing yogaback in high school at this gym that opened by my parent’s house. I really enjoyed the classes because it’s a different kind of work out. You focus more on your mind and body through poses, body alignment and breathing. In this way, yoga allows you to become more content and calm (for at least an hour a day,) among other benefits.
Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years! There is a lot more to yoga then bending your body every which way. Many people may hesitate taking a yoga class because they think they may not be flexible enough, or they are too old. The truth is, it is never too late to start, and you go at your own pace. Yoga has more benefits than just relieving stress and feeling calm and relaxed.
Yoga increases your flexibility. You are never too out of shape to improve your flexibility. I found from another website that there was a study that tested beginner’s flexibility during yoga classes. The results showed a 35% increase in flexibility after only 8 weeks.
Yoga increases your strength. Certain poses focus on different parts of the body. A plank for example, focuses on the body’s core muscles (the most important ones!) Keep in mind there are many different styles of yoga out there too. For example, there is a power yoga, which reaps more of an aerobic benefit. Power yoga combines stretching, strength training, breathing, but in a more fast-paced way. There are no pauses in between poses.
Yoga provides for good posture. A strong core = better posture. The fact that yoga requires you to identify with your body, you will gain increased body awareness. This could mean that you will be more likely to recognize when you are slouching and straighten up.
Yoga is also good for breathing. The long, deep breaths you take during poses increases your lung capacity. This could help improve performance in other exercises like sports or aerobics.
I really enjoy yoga, and I actually add a little bit of the breathing methods I learned from taking classes into my aerobics classes. At the end of my classes I usually do about five minutes of stretching or so. When I have the students bent forward to reach for their toes, I might tell them to reach down a little further as they exhale. It works!
-Yoga is just a different way to keep a healthy mind and body, give it a try!