Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise, especially as a complement to resistance training and cardio. Yoga improves physical and mental health for those who practice it. Yoga unites the mind with the body.
1. Yoga increases flexibility. The positions exercise all muscles and joints of the body, including muscles and joints that rarely are worked with other more traditional forms of exercise. Yoga increases the lubrication and range of motion of joints, ligaments and tendons. Yoga is one of the most efficient ways to increase flexibility over the entire body.
2. Yoga improves the health of the internal organs. Practicing yoga "massages" the internal glands and organs of the body. The stimulation of these internal organs promotes health and healing, and increases your sense of health in these organs. When an illness, injury or disease is beginning, you will be more in tune with the problem to catch it earlier before it progresses in seriousness. Many who practice yoga find they develop fewer aches and pains and colds, presumably due to the improved health of the internal organs.
3. Yoga improves the health of the muscles, tendons and joints in the body. By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga increases blood supply to various parts of the body. The result is a detoxification effect and increased nourishment of blood and nutrients to all parts of your body. These effects help to delay ageing and increase energy.
4. Yoga increases strength. Holding your body in various positions working against gravity builds strength, particularly in the small muscles that are difficult to target via traditional resistance training or weight routines. The discipline required to hold the more difficult positions also carries over to other types of training such as strength training and cardio.
5. Yoga improves stamina. Many positive effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems occur through the practice of yoga. People who practice yoga generally find their blood pressure lowers and their heart functions more efficiently. The lungs become clearer which improves breathing.
6. Yoga improves state of mind. Practicing yoga leads to a calmer mind and better mental perception of what is happening in the body. People who practice yoga report a sense of serenity that lasts all day, even when they are not actively doing yoga. Since the positions require so much mental focus on which muscles are being worked and body awareness of the positions, practicing yoga leads to improved exercise performance during cardio and weights workouts as well.
7. Yoga reduces stress. Yoga has an effect on the mind and the body much like meditation. Stress is the root of many health problems and problems thriving in life. Stress through meditation works remarkably to achieve this harmony and helps the mind work in sync with the body. How often do we find that we are unable to perform our activities properly and in a satisfying manner because of the confusions and conflicts in our mind weigh down heavily upon us? Moreover, stress which in reality is the #1 killer affecting all parts of our physical, endocrinal and emotional systems can be corrected through the wonderful yoga practice of meditation.
8. Yoga is a physically active form of meditation. One of the goals of yoga is mental detachment, which has remarkable emotional benefits. People who practice yoga report an inner calmness and more positive outlook. At the same time you enjoy the physical benefits of exercise.
With all these great benefits, what are you waiting for? I highly recommend working with a professional yoga instructor to learn the proper yoga techniques. Yoga instructors typically offer group classes, and sometimes private sessions as well. There are also many books and websites on yoga and yoga videos you can follow. Click here to Learn Yoga. Free online guide to yoga postures, yoga therapy and yoga exercises. Even one class a week (generally an hour) offers tremendous benefits, and is a great addition to your weekly fitness regimen that offers physical, mental and emotional benefits.
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