In our go go go world, it is so nice to slow down and enjoy the practice of Yoga. However, sometimes that can be SOOO hard! Being able to quiet everything down can be a challenge, yet, the benefits of Yoga are huge! If you are like me and you workout hard and are always on the go, doing yoga 2-3 times a week can have a tremendous impact on your muscles, your body, and your brain. When Yoga is not a part of my week (or my month-ahh!), my muscles are so much tighter and my flexibility is limited. I have personally found that it helps to tone and sculpt my upper body without adding bulk and makes my lower body (especially my hamstrings), so much more flexible. It lengthens my muscles and also quiets my mind for an hour.
I love all kinds of Yoga, but my two favorites are Hot Vinyasa and Yin. As my Yoga teacher said today, Hot Vinyasa is more like dance party Yoga. The music is louder, the moves are faster and you are sweating. This is also a more athletic yoga. My other favorite is the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Yin Yoga. She refers to this as a candle light dinner Yoga. The lights are very dim, the music is soft, and you do just a few poses, but hold them for a longer period of time. It is a very slow, relaxing, and stretching type of exercise.
There are many classes in between these two extremes like Hatha, Basics, and several others. I would recommend finding a yoga studio or if you are a member of a gym, looking on your schedule for the different types offered. No matter which one you decide, you will definitely reap the rewards!!
Here are the 6 benefits of practicing YOGA:
- Builds muscle and makes you stronger
- In Yoga, you are taking your body through a variety of poses that are meant to lengthen and tone you all at the same time. You use every muscle in your body, especially your core for most of the moves. This results in a nice lean and toned look.
- Regulates your Adrenal Glands
- Your adrenal glands regulate cortisol levels in your body. Stress is one of the largest contributors to higher cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels can lead to fat accumulation, especially around your stomach.
- Improves Flexibility
- Yoga poses are perfect for stretching and lengthening over worked muscles. You move through a variety of poses that over time increase your range of motion and improve your flexibility in your hips, shoulders, hamstrings, and more.
- Improves Balance
- Balance is a skill that unless practiced you loose as you get older. In Yoga, you perform standing balancing poses that continue to build this skill within you. We all need balance for our every day life, whether we are reaching up for a glass, or standing in the shower.
- Fights Food Cravings
- Regular Yoga practice can help lead to mindful living and mindful living can lead to mindful eating. You are more likely to make better food choices on days that you have practiced Yoga.
- Boosts Immunity
- As you move through Yoga poses, you stimulate your lymphatic system. This causes the release and drainage of lymph (the fluid that carries immune cells). By stimulating and draining your lymphatic system you are fighting infection and disposing of toxins, including cancerous cells.
If you can, try and incorporate Yoga into your weekly routine. I think you will love and enjoy all of the benefits that your body will get! If you are not a member of a gym, there are lots of great videos you can find and do at home. So, grab your towel and water bottle, and hit the mat!