Think you can’t get in shape doing yoga? Think again! A regular practice will not only get you in great physical condition, it will also reduce stress and help you sleep better. One of the great benefits of yoga, is the strength you will gain from the variety of poses which require you to support your own body weight. Holding poses over the course of several breaths, also builds strength.
As with any form of exercise, as you build strength your muscle tone will improve. Yoga helps to shape long, lean muscles, and increased flexibility.
For all of us, balance is something we want to maintain. Improved balance is yet another benefit of a regular yoga practice. Poses where you stand on one leg are great ways to build your core strength.
People with arthritis often see an improvement in their pain and mobility with a gentle, regular, yoga practice. Yoga has also shown to help slow bone thinning, reducing the risks of osteoporosis.
One of the best things about yoga, is that it is generally very easy on your joints, and considered safe for most healthy people under the guidance of a trained instructor.
If you are a beginner, Hatha yoga, which focuses on basic postures at a comfortable pace is a great place to start. If you want to increase strength, you might want to try a power yoga class. Many people love Bikram yoga, otherwise known as “hot yoga”, where the temperature of the room is set to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which causes an increase in the production of sweat, and thereby eliminating toxins from the body. Bikram is not for everyone, if you are sensitive to heat, you may not enjoy the hot room.
Mindfulness is a part of any yoga practice, and is very beneficial in improving ones overall well being. The breathing exercises that are a part of yoga, become a great way to reduce stress, at anytime, not just during class. Practicing breathing exercises you learn in class can be a great way to help you relax and fall asleep.
Have you heard of SUP Yoga? That is where you practice yoga on a surf board. If you love being on the water, you might want to look for a class near you; it’s an amazing way to be outside and enjoy the benefits of yoga.