What is yoga? How do you do it? Why would you do it?
For those who practice yoga on a regular basis, there are numerous benefits that can help in daily life; for those who have no idea what yoga really is, some descriptions can raise more questions rather than answering the initial ones.
September is national yoga month and current sciences and technologies are finding new ways that this ancient practice can not only keep you calm, but also improve your health by ridding you of sleep problems, aches and pains and improving your immune system.
Sounds too good to be true? Between the postures and deep breathing that make up a bulk of the practice, yoga had been classified as a â€œmind and bodyâ€ practice; in other words, it is the combination of mental and physical strength, which brings peace and a sense of relaxation to a person, both mentally and physically.
Yoga has numerous styles, all of which are designed for different effects and intensities, depending on the individualâ€™s preferences. The poses are designed to mainly focus on physical aspects, primarily flexibility and strength, while the controlled breath signifies the vitality of one and helps to settle the mind.
So how exactly does yoga impact daily life?
There wonâ€™t be results after one class, but those who practice yoga on a regular basis find that it is just as effective (if not more) in improving the physical image. The poses work the body to increase flexibility while also toning and strengthening the muscles. Depending on the type of yoga, certain poses push the body to their limit while supporting its full weight, tightening and toning the body from head to toe.
Yoga promotes relaxation of both the mind and body, loosening the back, neck and shoulders, main points in the body that carry the most stress. The key to this is focusing only on breathing and the pose being held while blocking out the world and all the little discrepancies surrounding. Problems wonâ€™t magically disappear overnight, but yoga can help make them less prominent.
Metabolism speed depends on a personâ€™s lifestyle; the more active a person is, the higher their metabolism will be. Certain yoga poses are designed to target areas of the body that correlate with the metabolism, namely the core. By improving circulation within the body and targeting specific muscle groups, yoga helps to improve the metabolism, ultimately allowing more calories to be burned and helping to maintain a healthy weight.
Strengthen Bones and Joints
There are yoga poses that focus on rebuilding bone mineral density and can be used to treat osteoporosis. By improving balance and flexibility, yoga helps to reduce the chances of falling, especially for those who are a little older, therefore reducing the risk of fractures. Posture improving poses stops the rounded shoulder effect, reducing spinal injuries. Yoga stretches out joints similarly, putting them through a full range of motion, helping to prevent arthritis.
Detoxifying yoga methods cleanse the body and blood of toxins much like a liquid detox would do. Because of the rhythmic stretching and compressing of muscles, yoga helps to remove carbon dioxide, lactic acid and lymphatic fluid from the tissues deep in the body that typical exercises donâ€™t reach. The breathing method allows the diaphragm to move freely and naturally, as if should, making sure that the lungs are empty before another breath is taken.
Manages Chronic Conditions
Higher intensity styles of yoga bring the heart rate up and helps to lower the risk of heart attack and improve cardiovascular conditioning. It also lowers cortisol levels within the body, which help to boost the immune system, and helps fight off depression.
Yoga poses have been improved inner strength and to an extent, improves confidence through self-awareness. While it is mainly psychological, confidence is linked with feeling good, being healthy and having faith in oneself. Studies have shown that those who practice yoga (specifically women) were much more confident in both their body image and in life in general when compared to others.
With all the benefits of Yoga, it’s no wonder so many people take classes to help with with their minds, body, and spirit. If you want to experience these benefits for yourself, come to one of our numerous Yoga classes at Inspirit Yoga and Fitness today!