Yoga offers a great variety of benefits, here are just a few to encourage you to head down to your local studio and take part
1. Clear Your Mind & Enhance Your Mood
Starting your day with yoga practice allows you the chance to really quiet your mind and focus. Often the yoga instructor will encourage you to focus on your breath, or to set an intention for your practice that can carry through to your day. My favorite is ‘gratitude’. With that in mind, challenges of the day seem far less…well, challenging!
2. Deepen Your Breathing
Breathing is at the core of all yoga practice. Yoga will help you learn to take long, slow breaths using the full capacity of your lungs, a practice that can benefit all other sport or fitness activities you may enjoy. Taking regular yoga classes can also increase lung capacity over time.
3. Strengthen Muscles
Yoga poses can sometimes be held for minutes at a time, challenging both your balance and strength. Frequent practice can lead to a profound increase in strength and agility and while it’s not a cardio activity per se, yoga can certainly get your heart pumping. With increased muscle tone and regular practice, you may also notice the added benefit of losing excess weight
4. Improved Flexibility and Posture
The benefits of yoga on the flexibility of often-tight muscles are tremendous. Yoga poses stretch and tone the muscles at the same time and help align the body, which improves posture and prevents imbalances. Don’t get caught up with what others in the class are doing, it doesn’t matter if you can’t get your head to your shin, only that you perform the movement safely and to the best of your ability. Yoga will train your body to hold your core strong, open your chest and slide your shoulder blades back and down. Counteract those hours of driving or sitting at a desk!
5. Prevent Injuries
Improving balance, co-ordination, flexibility and strength are all key to preventing injuries that can leave you out of action. Increased range of motion in the joints and stronger tendons, ligaments and connective tissues mean less risk of strains and sprains.
Yoga is suitable for all fitness levels. Talk to your instructor about the best style of class for you and any concerns or injuries you may have.
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert and Founder of Spa & Wellness Mexico magazine