Namaste. Did you know that the practice of yoga is said to have started 5,000 years ago? Well, that’s debatable. However, there’s no denying that yoga is an ancient well-being practice that has evolved drastically over the centuries.
Do you feel like the world around you is moving too fast? Are you a mother in desperate need of a simple but effective home fitness regime? Do you experience back pain from time to time? Do you easily forget stuff due to your hectic work schedule?
If you answered yes to any of these, then it’s about time you became a yogi (or yogini for the women). So beneficial and awesome are the benefits of yoga that September has been designated National Yoga Month to help spread awareness.
Types of Yoga to Try Out
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to types of yoga that you can try out. Depending on your age, pose preference and willingness to be adventurous, you can opt for the following common types of yoga:
If you are looking for yoga, mainly for posture, Hatha is the best one. It has many other sub-categories that you would find helpful too. For Hatha, you can get a basic introduction to many postures generally used in different yoga types and branches. It is best for women and beginners since they are less intense, requiring minimal movements and positions. If you have a stiff body, it makes you loosen up the muscles more, relaxing your body before you advance.
Video: Hatha Yoga Level 1
Hatha Yoga for Beginners. | Courtesy of Jesse Gallagher
Vinyasa is known to be fun through a mixture of peaceful poses and intense work-outs. Every class is different, so you are sure to have unique experiences in each one of them. It is one of the yoga types that includes music in its classes compared to the traditional silence you may expect. The yoga poses flow is also one of a kind as you move seamlessly from one to another.
Contrary to what people may think, the idea of goat yoga is not complex at all. There are the yoga instructor and a class of yogis who allow the goats to interact with them. It is inclusive for kids too. You don’t have to be afraid of goats as they are only there to snuggle you as you perform your yoga poses.
7 Benefits of Yoga to Your Health and Wellbeing
So, why Yoga through life? Honestly, the benefits of yoga are endless, and here are seven reasons why this ancient practice can transform your modern lifestyle.
Turns You Into A Flexible, Lovely Human Being
Yes, when you start yoga you may not even be able to touch your toes let alone do a backbend. But watch this space! After a few days of dedication and loyalty to this holistic practice, you will be amazed at how easy your body eases into the poses. Oh and those knee aches and back pains become less frequent enabling you to delve further into more advanced yoga styles. Did you know there’s a correlation between tight hips and increased knee pain? Well, Yoga will have you working your hip area which eases tension on those achy knee bones.
That Hot Bod’
Oh yes. Yoga helps increase the strength of your muscles. As years go by, our muscles tend to wear out resulting in conditions such as arthritis. Once you incorporate yoga into your regime, you will most likely always look ten years younger than your age due to a smashing body and amazing energy levels. Have you already joined a gym and want to get more out of your membership? Well, you can still lift weights a couple of days a week, and then alternate with some yoga. Keeping this up will do wonders for your body and life!
Life Will Be Your Runway
Yoga is a good way to give you an ideal body posture through various yoga positions. Believe it or not, our spine and neck do get tired of supporting the head for 12 hours non-stop; hence the reason you may tend to sit or stand in an awkward way. Some yoga poses like the hero pose (virasana) or the tree pose (vrksasana) do wonders for your posture and will have you strutting through life like a runway model!
Video: Yoga Poses to Improve Body Posture
How to Fix Body Posture Using Yoga. | Courtesy of VENTUNO YOGA
Give the Spine its Nutrients
Spinal disks just like any other part of your body need nutrients. By moving your body, you nourish these important components of the central nervous system. Through yoga, you get to do backbends and twists which move your spine and feed the disks leading to a healthy and fully functioning back. When your spine is healthy, your whole body performs in a flawless manner.
No Traffic in Blood Circulation
A yogi never experiences traffic jams when it comes to flow of blood in their body. Areas such as hands and legs benefit a lot from yoga poses. Doing head stands and shoulder stands increases blood flow to the respective areas. Twisting your body while doing a pose like bharadvaja’s twist squeezes your blood from various organs which leads to better flow upon release.
Regular yoga oils the blood platelets and helps eliminate proteins that promote clotting of blood resulting in flawless blood flow in your body. Improved blood circulation results in well oxygenated body organs which in turn help reduce swelling of legs, heart attacks and lung problems.
More Yoga, More Smiles
Are you feeling down? Ease into a Lotus sitting position. Research shows that yoga elevates the level of serotonin which fights depression and reduces the level of cortisol in your body. This important balance will make your body ‘naturally happy’ and stronger than you can ever imagine. Yoga puts you into a place of peace through meditation. Such places are free from anxiety, stress and depression. Consistent practice of yoga will help you beam more and always send out a positive vibe to those around you.
Yoga requires a lot of discipline and focus. By successfully doing numerous yoga poses, you become more alert and are able to focus clearly on the present. With yoga, memory loss will become a thing of the past because other than being great for your body, it works wonders for your mind. Through meditation, you are able to synchronize various aspects of your life resulting in a more fulfilled and fruitful lifestyle.
Having looked at some of the miracle working wonders of yoga, you need to grab your mat and start posing. It will not be in vain.
To learn how to enrich your life through yoga, visit the Yoga Health Foundation
TopProducts.com has done some great reviews on yoga products that will help you kick start this wonderful journey to a better you. Namaste
Mary Kihoro, TopProducts Staff Writer