Yoga isn’t just for a select group of people. Yoga is for everyone. There are so many benefits to doing Yoga it’ll make you wonder why you haven’t gotten out your mat before and started doing downward dog. In this article, we’ll convince you of the health, fitness and wellness benefits that doing Yoga has.
Nowadays, with most of us sitting behind a computer day in and day out, we are not flexible in the slightest. This has a negative effect on our state of health. For example, if your hamstrings aren’t flexible, you have a greater chance of suffering from lower back pain.
Yoga is famed for its ability to help you become more flexible. It does this through the various positions that you adopt during a Yoga class. These positions are called asanas in Sanskrit. You hold these positions for a number of seconds or cycles of breath.
Some of these positions are quite challenging but don’t worry if you can’t hold these for prolonged periods of time. Also, if a position calls for you to have straight legs but you can only hold the pose with slightly bent legs, don’t worry. Your Yoga practice is personal to you and you need to adapt what you do during the class to fit in with your body’s capabilities. If you’re not sure about how to adapt the position, ask the Yoga instructor to assist you. Remember that he or she has done a Yoga course – perhaps many – so they are well qualified to help you with what you need.
The more that you practice Yoga, the easier that you’ll find getting into and maintaining the positions in. You just need to be consistent.
In today’s world, we are constantly on the go. While technology – and the rapid pace that it is evolving at – has improved our lives immeasurably and has allowed us to increase productivity, it’s also made us stressed. We never take time for ourselves and think about what we want out of life. We don’t take time to listen to what our bodies are telling us which means that we become run down and have to make frequent trips to the doctor because we become more susceptible to the common cold and flu. [READ: 9 Anti-aging Secrets that Might Add Years to Your Life]
The practice of Yoga says that we have to be one with our bodies. In other words, our minds and bodies need to be in sync. We need to still our minds and focus on what we’re doing. This allows us to block out all the extra thoughts and worries that come into our minds. This allows us the headspace to figure out what’s really important and to concentrate on this. In so doing, we become more productive as we’re able to get things done.
Yoga adopts a system of breathing called Ujjayi breath. How this works is that you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. However, when you exhale you keep your mouth closed and slightly constrict the back of your throat. The sound that is produced is a sighing sound.
During Yoga practice, the movements that you do are in keeping with your breath. Your breath helps to make the movements more fluid. Because you are concentrating so much on how you’re breathing, you improve how you breathe. This has benefits for your lung health. In addition, because you’re using the oxygen that you take in more efficiently, this will have added benefits for you in terms of how you perform other aspects of exercise such as cardiovascular exercise.
You don’t need to be super flexible to start doing Yoga. Start off simply and do what you are physically able to do. Everyone’s body is made up differently which means that some people will find it easier to perform the asanas – as they were designed – easier than others. Why not try out a Yoga class or two and see how it could benefit you!