If you have read About Me, then you already know that I am a registered yoga teacher. I originally began practicing yoga about 15 years ago. Several years ago I decided to pursue my yoga teaching certification. The benefits of practicing yoga are remarkable…both physically and mentally. The word Yoga comes from ancient Sanskrit and literally means “union” or “to yoke”. It is the joining together of the masculine and the feminine, of strength and flexibility. Yoga is balance. Today we are going to explore some of yoga’s most well-known benefits:
- Strength – Believe it or not, yoga will provide you with tons of resistance training! By working against your own body weight and holding isometric contractions (stagnant poses), you will build muscle tone quickly.
- Flexibility – Yoga’s slow, static stretching will lengthen your muscles and improve your overall range of motion.
- Stress Management – Through deep, even breathing and meditative techniques, yoga teaches you to find peace and balance in your life.
- Weight Loss – When you live in moderation and add yoga to your life, the pounds will often begin to shed.
- Anti-Aging – By slowly moving the body through the asanas (poses), you stimulate the movement of your lymphatic fluid. This fluid works to carry away cellular debris and toxins; however, the lymphatic system requires movement to get it going. As cellular debris is carried away, new cells can thrive. While all exercise helps with this process, few other forms of exercise actually involve inverting your body completely! This results in the reversal of lymph, blood, and gravity; it works to better cleanse, tone, and oxygenate the body. (Check with your doctor PRIOR to attempting inverted postures).
- Better Posture – When you lengthen and strengthen your body, you will stand taller and straighter…which will make you appear taller and leaner!
- Immune System Strengthening – Yoga stimulates your entire body, thus making it work better!
- Balance – Yoga will improve your balance, both literally and figuratively!
All in all, Yoga is an amazingly beneficial practice which has been around for over 5,000 years! Looking to try a class? Most Lululemon Athletica stores offer a weekly COMPLIMENTARY class (pictured above, you will see me teaching one of these classes)! Also, many gyms and health clubs will issue you complimentary trial passes so that you can try out some classes. Don’t be intimidated…get out there and try it! Namaste (pronounced nah-mah-stay: “I salute the divine light within you”).