Some people consider yoga to be a ‘hippy – dippy’ fad. They could not be more wrong. If yoga is a fad – then it is a fad that has been around over 5,000 years. Yoga is the integration of body and mind that burns calories and is incredible for muscle toning, and relaxation (when was the last time you felt relaxed during or after a run!!).
There are numerous types of yoga and you need to find out the type that best suits your body and ability. Some (like Power and Bikram) are fast-paced and higher intensity. While others are more gentle and relaxing (Hatha and Iyengar).
All you need is some comfy yoga clothes – and a mat.
Yoga can be done by beginners and by those who are advanced. You don’t need to compare yourself to others – you focus on your own practice and how well you are doing. Yoga can be done in a class or at home – whether it is indoors or outdoors (my favorite)!
Numerous studies find those who regularly practice yoga have greater overall strength and a lower percentage of body fat versus those who don’t exercise. That should make you want to try a few poses and hit the mat!
How else does yoga benefit you?
Balance and Core Strength
Research from Temple University found that women who followed a more gentle form of yoga enjoyed improved stability, flexibility and core-strength, which led to fewer trips and falls in females over 65-years old.
There is a yoga pose to strengthen every part of your body. It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your upper body, back, lower body, and core. But, it is also low impact – which puts less strain on your joints.
Here some examples on what different poses target…
- Upper Body: You use the weight of your body to do so many movements. Downward dogs, crouching crow challenge your arms and shoulders.
- Lower Body: The warrior series and high and low lunges work every part of your legs and glutes.
- Back: Yoga provides a good stretch for your back – I love childs’ pose.
- Core: Planks are a perfect examples of this
Yoga Also Increases Flexibility – You probably knew this – but, yoga poses stretch your muscles which increases your range of motion. And, a fluid body is a beautiful body.
And, while yoga is not aerobic, it is an important part to your overall health and well being.
So, How Do I Start?
If you feel unsure – I would suggest finding a yoga studio that offers ‘beginner’ courses so you can have someone check your posture and offer tips to improve your practice. But, if you feel comfortable going on your own – there are numerous online yoga studios (at various cost levels) that provide yoga classes that can be done in the privacy of your own home – or, your backyard.
Some examples include:
Often, they provide an introductory fee so you can try them out and see what type of yoga you like.
So, let’s incorporate some flexibility in our lives.