Benefits of Yoga

Posted: Aug 30 2016

Hello once again! We’re back with our second post of the month. We’ve been pretty busy getting ready to welcome the fall and enjoying these long summer days; they always go by so fast!

This time we’re going to talk about yoga. The benefits of this ancient practice are many and with the rise in popularity, it’s becoming easier and easier to join the fast growing group of followers, also called, yogis. Yoga’s popularity rests on its ability to decrease stress levels, manage anxiety and develop a deeper connection between your mind and body.

There are different types of yoga, each one with a particular style that would help in a different way. Among the more popular there are

  • Hatha: is a low impact style. It focuses on breathing and short term poses. This type of practice is ideal for beginners or people looking to unwind and relax.
  • Vinyasa: this type of practice is faster paced and focuses on breathing while changing poses in a flow style. As a result, it is more physically demanding and great for people to get stronger and fitter.
  • Bikram: usually practiced in a hot room, this style of yoga is quite demanding. It consists of 26 moves, performed in 90 minutes with high temperatures. This type of practice is best practiced by people with previous experience in yoga or fit.
  • Ashtanga: another physically demanding style where the link between the poses and breathing is essential. The poses are made in a specific order, following a breathing technique that, combined with the sequence, creates internal body that purifies the body.

These yoga styles are only a few in a long list of types of practices, with more than 100 types. But all of them have shown to make a positive impact in the lives of people that make yoga a habit. One of the first things that you’ll probably start noticing is that you’ll become much more flexible. The first classes are always the hardest, when you’re trying to reach your toes but the hands can only go as far as your knees. With time, every move will be easier. Remember that form is very important, so even if your hands are only reaching your knees, if you keep the right posture, practice will do the trick. Don’t harm yourself.

Another great benefit of maintaining a yoga routine is developing strength. Some yoga poses may trick the eye and look like they are not very demanding, when in reality they require balance, discipline and strength in order to maintain the pose. Yoga works your arms, back, legs and core. In addition, the breathing techniques that accompany the moves heightens the awareness of the body and the role of every muscle in working when doing a pose.

On top of physical wellness, practicing yoga has also been demonstrated to help decrease stress levels, anxiety and mood improvement. The combination of paced movements, breathing and meditation have a great positive impact in the mental wellness of the person practicing. Yoga helps with cortisol levels, metabolism and the immune system, leaving you with an overall positive sensation after a practice. This is because Yoga is not about competing with everybody else in the hot room, but about creating a better communication between body and mind. One that allows understanding as well as forgiveness. When practicing yoga, you’re the one in charge. You set the goals and with time, patience and practice, you’ll discover how far you can come.

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