Our daily lives are constantly plagued with mounds with stress. The majority of us find ourselves working ourselves to the grave just trying to become successful and please everyone. We spend our days running around in pure panic like a chicken with its head cut off when we really should take some time out for ourselves.
In comes the ancient practice of yoga. It has been around for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits and making yoga far from some hipster trend.
Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They include some form of breathing technique and meditation techniques as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation, but there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles of yoga offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.
Styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga are more vigorous and helps improve muscle tone. Iyengar yoga, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits. The diversity of asanas can strengthen a variety of muscles throughout the body.
Contrary to belief, you don’t have to be able to stretch like a gymnast to take a yoga class. The whole point of yoga is for you to learn about your body and how you can become more flexible over time. Participants of all ages can improve their flexibility just by safely stretching your muscles with asanas.
Stretching releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and that causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. It increases the range of motion and the lubrication in the joints and provides a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.
Slouching or hunching over causes bad backs and unsightly seating positions. With increased flexibility and strength in yoga comes the fix for better posture. Most of the standing and sitting poses develop core strength because you're counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you're more likely to sit and stand correctly by increasing your body’s awareness.
Concentration and mood
Breathing exercises help calm and relieve all of the added stress that you accumulate throughout the day and you can practice deep breathing exercises anywhere at any time. Deep breathing boosts oxygen levels to the brain and ultimately puts you in a better mood.
You can essentially practice yoga anywhere. Taking a deep breath to calm yourself after a stressful situation is just one of the many ways to squeeze in a little extra yoga throughout your day. It’s amazing to find out just how much better your mind, body and spirit will feel after practicing yoga every day.