Yoga has been around for a very long time and has previously been viewed as a ‘hippie’ form of exercise. For a long time it wasn’t mainstream and I’m sure many people did not view it as a proper form of exercise. But we have come a long way since then. There are so many yoga studios available for you to choose from and yoga is now a respected form of exercise with many physiotherapists advocating yoga as a good addition for any person suffering from an injury or going through rehabilitation from a car accident or sports injury.
Yoga provides you with a form of exercise that is gentle yet effective, and even suitable for beginners and expectant mothers. Yoga is perfect for anyone with an injury who cannot do high impact exercise such as cardio. However, please discuss your ailments and injuries with your yoga instructor because there are a few poses which should be avoided.
The key benefits to practicing yoga are increased flexibility as well as increased muscle strength and tone. Yoga is great form of exercise for pregnant women and has even proven helpful with preparing for birth through breathing exercises and stretching. Do avoid all poses which involve being on back during pregnancy though.
For some, yoga is more than exercise, it is the introduction to self-care and a healthier lifestyle. Yoga forces you to focus and calm your mind to the point that you are more self aware of your thoughts and what you put into your body.
Through constant practice, yoga releases tension in your limbs which can decrease the amount of pain and inflammatory medication taken as you will slowly reduce your chronic tension and pain levels. Yoga also improves your balance which contributes to improving your posture, which will also reduce pain and discomfort. Many of us are unaware of how weak muscles contribute to our bad posture which in turn leads to daily aches and pains.
Yoga also assists with weight-loss as it increases blood flow which increases your metabolism. Used in conjunction with cardio such as running or cycling, you can tone and lose weight at the same time which is very good for your skin.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere, from the comfort of your own home, to the great outdoors, though many people find joining a class more motivating.