Yoga, The Way To A Better You

August 1, 2010

Everyday we encounter advertisements about fitness products to help us lose weight and tone our abs and body, but hearing about yoga, an exercise with all the benefits and much more- is rare.

Many think this is just a method to maintain flexibility, something bodybuilding wouldn’t do- the benefits of yoga are wide and go beyond just physical and physiological.

Known as the single biggest benefit of yoga is flexibility. If you’ve ever watched a yoga class, or even looked at some yoga clothing sites, you may be awed by the folding and twisting of yoga practitioners. Yoga can help increase the range of motion in your hamstrings, back shoulder and hips.

The poses that you do in yoga, which may be held in long periods of time, can help build muscle tone and strength. You will also have improved balance as you learn to achieve poses.

Increased flexibility and strength also help in prevention of some types of pain. Imagine how good it would feel when you stretch after a long drive. Back pains, shoulder pain and even carpal tunnel pain are some of the pains relieved by yoga, these are just some of the benefits yoga extends to your body.

Breathing is a very essential focus of yoga. Learning to breathe slower and deeper as you move through poses can benefit your entire body. Your better breathing technique may initially cause some light-headedness during yoga as your blood carries a better supply of oxygen, so be prepared. You will get used to it and is likely to happen the first couple of times. Reducing stress and pain managements is one of the advantages of controlled breathing.

Exercising can give both mental and physical which come from endorphins, concentration and calmness is where the benefits of yoga comes from. Yoga requires that you concentrate on breathing and positioning of your body, which helps calm your thoughts and gives you another tool for stress reduction. Yoga in the evening can help you prepare your mind and body for sleep due to it’s relaxing nature.

Enrolling in a class, buying a video or watching a show is just as easy as beginning to practice yoga. Getting yourself a yoga mat or if you have a carpeted area and some loose fitting clothes are also advisable. Whether in a class or alone, pay attention to your body. If a pose hurts, then use a modification or do not attempt it until you get stronger or more flexible. If you continue a yoga practice, you’ll find the poses become easier and you may well look forward to yoga as one of the best “you” times of the day.

About the author: Michelle Walton writes as a hobby and maintains websites for St Louis featuring Yoga St Louis.


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