Yoga is all about strengthening the mind and spirit as well as your body, providing you with an exercise regime that you can actually unwind and relax when participating in it. Throughout the thousands of years this form of exercise has evolved and adapted to suit our ever changing lifestyles, so there are many different practices, poses and postures.
You can take up yoga at the gym with specific classes, have a one-to-one instructor or even follow a DVD or book.
1 – Strength and Flexibility
Many of the poses help to strengthen your muscles, this is mainly because you need to stretch out the muscles and then hold them as long as possible, anywhere from 1-5 minutes each; this helps you to get lean as your muscles tighten and become stronger. Whilst doing this is also helps to keep the muscles flexible, this can be just as important as the strength, as injuries can be avoided if you are flexible.
2 – Energy Levels
Through each of the poses you need to concentrate on your breathing, and this is a vital key to how yoga works. By taking longer, slower, deeper breaths your body will take in much more oxygen which is beneficial for all aspects of your body. The most significant difference is that it can provide you with more energy, and of course by getting into shape with yoga you will notice you have more energy too, as you can move around more.
3 – Stress Relief
Yoga has always had more focus on the state of mind and helping to relax it and the body. With the poses working well to stretch out the muscles any tensions can be stretched out too; and with the breathing you can find a place to release any pent up anguish and relax. It also helps as it gives you time to reflect on everything going on around, allowing you time to breath so that you then have a clearer mind to make decisions and cope with what life has to throw at you.
These three things are important for a healthy well balanced body and mind, and you can easily fit in a bit of yoga every day, no matter how short or long you do it for, it will certainly help you in the long run. There are many other yoga benefits to be had; it is just a case of giving it a go and finding out for yourself how it can help you. Each person is different and so the extra benefits will vary, and of course how much you put into it yourself.
You will also find the best poses for you to do too, as again not everyone will be confident or comfortable with some of them. Practice them and only do what you can without pushing yourself, as this can do more harm than good, listen to your body and the benefits of yoga will start to show.