Yoga goes back thousands of years and is said to have developed out of a desire for greater health and personal freedom. Yoga is both physical and mental; the word itself means “to join or yoke together”, uniting the body and the mind in harmony. As a combination of poses, breathing, and meditation, yoga is meant to enhance the peace of mind and body.
You may not feel very harmonious in the midst of attempting to twist yourself around like a pretzel in your morning yoga class, but there are benefits that go beyond the yoking of mind and body. Finding your balance may seem like a challenge at first, but the key is to take your time and allow each pose to build on the other.
Better Health: Lower blood pressure, slower heart rate, lower cholesterol, even improved digestion. “There are many postures, especially twists, designed to massage the internal organs and keep food moving along,” says Yoga Means Business co-founder and yoga director Jen Kluczkowski. “Easier digestion equals more energy for the body.”
Better Sleep: Can’t shut your mind down when it’s time to snooze? Yoga helps with stress, and when you focus on breathing, your mind slows down, and….. zzzzzzzzz…….
Better Strength: Those poses and positions are more than just a challenge in coordination and balance; when you use the weight of your body for resistance, all those muscles become stronger.
Better Sex: Balance. Flexibility. Energy. Enough said.
Better Posture: Yoga poses are a natural way to put your spine in proper alignment. You core becomes stronger, and you are more conscious of slumping and slouching.
Better Metabolism: You may not know it, but in the middle of all of those downward dog and warrior poses, your body is experiencing less stress, a lower heart rate, and decreasing stress hormones. Metabolism increased: check.
Less stress: For at least a few minutes a day, you are calm. You are quiet. You (attempt to) clear your mind. And who couldn’t use less stress?
Recent studies have shown even more good things to come out of this age-old practice, including results that show yoga may be as good for your heart health as running on the treadmill or other cardio workouts.
Implementing any fitness routine can prove to be a challenge in this fast-paced world we rush through. Finding time in your day to meditate/breath/pose for even a few minutes may seem impossible. But the challenge of fitting it into your schedule will prove to be worth the effort.
So get out that mat. Bare your feet (socks are slippery!). Take a Yoga class in Lincoln NH and get started. Chant your mantra. If you are a beginner, start with the very simple poses. Stick with a yoga routine, and you may soon find yourself mastering the Sirsasana pose (or as we called it as kids, a headstand). Namaste.