What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual discipline that requires the wholeness and unity of the body, mind and spirit. It is thought that it originated from ancient India and has been a practice for thousands of years.
It is traditionally used to attempt to find harmony with the universe, but more recently it has become a very popular form of physical exercise. You will be able to find numerous yoga classes in every town and the popularity is only rising as we mov further into the 21st century. This trend is increasing due to the many benefits that are associated with the sport. Below are just a few of the benefits of a good yoga session.
As you practice yoga, you will experience improvements in the techniques of the exercises, your posture, breathing control and balance. Here are the benefits broken down:
Cardio is normally associated with some form of vigorous physical activity such as running or swimming, however there are elements of yoga that can be very aerobic if performed with intensity. Your blood flow will increase due to the repetitive motion and stretching, and yoga is also believed to improve your resting heart rate through relaxing movements that allow you to ‘de-stress’.
This is an obvious benefit of yoga. The benefits of yoga affecting mental well being are due to improvements of the quality of your sleep, higher quality air intake and a greater focus on the things that are important in your life. Regular meditation has been proven to reduce depression due to a reduction of anger and fear which result in high levels of stress. By realigning yourself with the universe, so to speak, you can slow these frustrations and it can lead you to a greater sense of fulfilment and purpose.
This is the benefit that most people think of when considering taking up a yoga class for the first time. During the first class, you may feel some discomfort as you begin to ask your body to stretch in directions you haven’t even dreamt of in years. But after a few sessions your muscles will begin to lengthen, you will begin to notice your limbs are more limber. Yoga in fantastic for improving your flexibility, which in turn will help reduce aches and pains as well as improve posture.
Muscle Strength and Tone:
As your muscles become more flexible and stronger, they will become to look more ‘toned’. But this isn’t just for an ego boost in front of the mirror. Stronger muscles will allow you to perform more functional, daily activities, as well as help prevent falls in later life. Stronger muscles result in a stronger core, resulting in an improvement in your balance, and again, your posture.