Though regular yoga practice offers amazing health and fitness benefits, it can be intimidating at the beginning. Get a little yoga inspiration for beginners. Check yoga motivational quotes plus learn about the fitness benefits of yoga to stay motivated in your daily yoga practice!
So, you need to get in shape, and you need to lose weight. That sounds like just about everybody! The problem is gym memberships are not for everybody. Maybe you feel like you’re too old, or your knees are too bad for the gym, or you’re just not athletic enough to hang out at the gym. There is a great option for you. Use yoga to improve fitness, lose weight and brighten your mood.
What are the fitness benefits of yoga? Here’s what yoga can do for you.
If you’re like me, the idea of yoga brings to mind people twisting themselves serenely into pretzels. I can’t even touch my toes, much less do contortions. But, yoga is very possibly the most adaptable exercise program available. The stiffest, least flexible person in the world can benefit from yoga. In fact, it’s highly recommended for people with movement restrictions for that reason.
Through yoga, you learn to stretch muscles and tendons slowly and methodically. This increases circulation which, in turn, energizes you. The increased blood flow carries toxins out of your body and brings much needed hydration and nutrients to the muscle tissue. All yoga, even the most basic, involves controlled breathing techniques which oxygenate your bloodstream. This increased oxygen makes your blood richer, providing better nutrients to the rest of your body. The result is a better sense of well-being and increased energy.
Muscles lose their tone when they are not used. You may actually never lose muscle, but it can lose its tone and become saggy. With yoga, you can gradually wake up those muscles. They will begin to regain their tone as you stretch and contract them for various exercises. Gradually, you’ll see that your posture has improved. First, your lower back doesn’t get as tired, because your abdominal muscles are starting to support your torso. Second, your heel spurs don’t hurt as much because you’ve stretched your tendons out and taken the strain off of your heel. Third, your upper back muscles are stronger, pulling your shoulders back. This, in turn, reduces neck pain and tension headaches. In general, you become more fit.
As you participate in yoga, you feel better and start becoming more fit. You find yourself with increased energy and an improved outlook. And, you will probably find that you’ve started losing weight! While yoga is not necessarily a fat-burner, per se, it certainly will make you feel well enough that you don’t need to eat constantly to make yourself feel better. Food is an analgesic. That means it kills pain. Those aches and pains you feel are not a pronounced when your stomach is full, because circulation and nerve impulses from the digestive tract occupy your brain functions.
As you start do deal with some of your physical issues through yoga, you’ll find that you just don’t eat as much, therefore, you lose weight! Call weight loss a “side effect” of yoga, perhaps. But, it stands to reason, when you feel better and are more fit, you’ll certainly feel more like taking care of yourself.
A regular yoga practice helps you reduce stress, anxiety and tension. It also improves your sense of humor.
About the author: Laura Green is a keen fan of keeping fit and practicing yoga, when she isn’t trying to stay in shape you can usually find her working for Yeotown, a yoga fitness camp.