Is Yoga right for you?
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and is becoming one of
the most popular forms of exercise practiced today.
In this article we discuss the top ten reasons to try yoga to see if it is right for you. If you would like to lose weight, feel fitter, stronger, and generally healthier and happier, maybe attending yoga classes is something you should try.
An introduction to Yoga.
Yoga is principally a life philosophy which encompasses ethical and spiritual values as well as a series of poses (called 'Asana') which happen to be very beneficial to the workings of the body and building a mind-body connection.
Yoga posses were originally invented so Yoga practitioners could hold their bodies in static positions for long periods while they were meditating, but because they are isometric (which means they rely on holding muscle tension), they also help build stronger muscles.
There are many different styles of Yoga practiced around the world, but the most common styles practiced in Australia include:
The Top Ten reasons to try Yoga.
Among its many benefits, Yoga is said to:
1. Increase flexibility.
Yoga helps to increase the flexibility of our muscles and tendons while reducing the risk of injury.
Yoga posses stretch muscles in a specific sequence so each muscle is kept warm and limber during entire Yoga classes.
Because most yoga classes include exercises for each part of the body, no one body part becomes more or less flexible than the others ensuring maximum flexibility and injury prevention.
2. Increase strength and vitality.
Because Yoga poses involve isometric exercises, it helps to strengthen our muscles and bones and in doing so helps us feel more vital and healthy everyday.
In helping to create this renewed strength and vitality, Yoga is said to help manage a number of chronic health conditions such as asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, back pain, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Most forms of Yoga help strengthen and tone muscles, while some of the more vigorous forms of yoga, such as Vinyasa Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, also promote stamina as well as strength, flexibility and relaxation.
3. Strengthen the immune system.
Yoga is said to help strengthen the immune system which helps us fight illness and maintain good health.
4. Improve circulation.
Through the various poses and taking deep breathes, Yoga encourages good blood circulation which helps our body carry oxygen and valuable nutrients to the muscles, brain and organs so they can function properly.
5. Yoga can facilitate weight loss.
Yoga does help burn extra calories, particularly the more vigorous forms of Yoga such as Vinyasa Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga.
For those of us that do other forms of exercise, like walking, jogging, cycling, weight training, martial arts, Yoga makes a perfect cross-training exercise because it combines flexibility, strength training and balance.
6. Improve muscle balance.
Many people who practice Yoga for the first time notice that some of their muscles are more flexible than others.
Yoga poses are designed to help correct these imbalances over time making the whole body more flexible and less inclined to experience muscle injuries in the process.
7. Improve concentration and focus.
Rhythmic focused breathing is a primary component of yoga practice and helps practitioners to improve their concentration and focus, which helps in other aspects of their lives and is said to have many therapeutic effects.
In addition, this focused breathing and focus on specific muscles which are being contracted and relaxed in order to assume the various posses, also allows practitioners to develop greater body awareness.
8. Reduce stress and anxiety.
Yoga helps calm the mind and lower stress levels by focusing the mind on the moment at movements at hand.
Many people today lead far too hectic and stressful lives which can lead to serious health consequences in the future, including weight gain.
Although we have listed lowering stress and anxiety here at number 8 in the top ten reasons to try Yoga, this is in no way a reflection of how significant the stress reducing properties of Yoga actually are.
9. Encourage the connection of our physical, mental and spiritual selves.
Rather than unconsciously going through the motions, Yoga requires practitioners to focus all their energy on performing each movement precisely.
This benefits the mind, body and spirit.
10. Improve Posture.
Yoga poses build strength in the deep core muscles of the midsection and strengthen and open typically tight areas such as the shoulder blades and muscles of the upper back and lower back, which are all important to maintain good posture.
In strengthening and improving the flexibility of these muscles, Yoga helps us to develop better balance and stability, which helps us function well while doing all of life’s daily activities.
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and is becoming one of the most popular forms of exercise practiced today.
In this article we discussed the top ten reasons to try yoga to see if it is right for you in your quest to lose weight, feel fitter and stronger, and generally feel healthier and happier.
So, now the rest is up to you, go on and give Yoga a try!
Good luck with your weight loss and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.
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This article was written by Scott Haywood.
Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.
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