There is a lot to learn about yoga and it’s many benefits.
Yoga helps to improve your overall health for both the mind and body.
Today, I will be talking about what yoga is and it’s many benefits.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga means something different to each individual, but the main definition of yoga is…
Yoga is a Hindu philosophy that uses physical and mental discipline to be able to create a union of the self with the Supreme Being.
This is all achieved through a series of postures and breathing exercises.
Yoga helps you to control your breathing, meditate and creates balance and energy in the body.
It also helps you to restore your muscles through specific poses all while bringing you to a more relaxed state of self-awareness.
This is achieved through the different poses and sequences like sun salutation, pigeon pose wheel pose, etc.
Breathing exercises and meditation is also apart of this amazing practice to improve overall health and well-being.
There are many people out there who consider this practice to be a spiritual one.
It has never been viewed as a religion, but some individuals have felt that the spiritual side of them has been enhanced because of yoga.
There are approximately 9 million people in the United States alone who practice some form of yoga, whether it be in the form of dance, stretching, exercise or even martial arts.
There are many styles of this age-old practice, as well, like Integral, Bhakti, Ananda, Hatha, and Bikram!
Why Yoga Is Good For You
Yoga has numerous benefits including increased flexibility, strength, and balance.
Yoga can also help you to heal your body as well as remove you from your current state of worry, stress, and anxiety and bring you to a place of peace, calm, and tranquility.
You can also get a killer workout too!
Yoga helps you to control your breathing and be able to supply your vital organs with the proper amount of oxygen.
Want to know how else yoga can benefit your life?
Check out these benefits below.👇🏾
- Increased flexibility with poses that involve using different muscles and joints that are not normally affected in most regular exercise routines.
- Improve the function and lubrication of joints, ligaments, and tendons, and helps to alleviate pain.
- Helps to stimulate and massage your internal organs to help prevent disease.
- Brings more calm and relaxation into your life and helps your mind to let go of negativity and stress.
- Increases circulation and offers a complete detoxification of the body.
- Aids in focusing the mind on what’s important and releasing what is not.
- An excellent way to tone muscles and promotes strength, balance, and also aids in shedding excess fat from the body.
- Brings attention to your breathing.
- Invites you to get out of your head and into your body.
- Gives you healing tools to better cope with stressful events and trauma.
- Rebalances your body and can help with weight loss.
- Can bring yourself awareness to the tension in your body so you can let it go.
- Yoga classes are a great way to meet new, interesting and like-minded people.
- Opens up a whole world of travel opportunities with amazing yoga retreats held all over the world.
- A ton of different yoga styles and levels allowing you to find the best ‘fit’ for you.
- Can consciously help you make healthier food choices.
- Helps you to reconnect with your inner self to realize your dreams, goals, and ambitions.
As you can see, yoga has a ton of benefits beyond just stretching out your muscles.
Another huge benefit yoga has is that it allows you to pause for a moment and literally just breath.
Yoga helps you to bring focus back to your body and your mind.
When you are in a relaxed state, you are then able to think clearer and come up with solutions to problems you had a hard time-solving.
Yoga helps with this by allowing you to, once again, take a break and let go of what is bothering you at that moment so that you can regroup and reenergize yourself.
How Yoga Works
Yoga helps to promote good balance by elongating and aligning your spine through strengthening your back muscles.
Other parts of the body grow stronger💪🏾 as well, like your arms, legs, glutes, and abs, which helps guard you back from injury.
To have good yoga posture requires regular practice.
Utilizing blocks, straps, and other yoga accessories can help you perform each yoga pose correctly.
The main goal of having good yoga posture is to teach every part of your body to bear its own weight instead of relying on other muscles to carry the load.
Yoga poses function differently as each pose is designed to develop flexibility and strength.
Here are some of the best yoga poses for beginners that you can practice in a class or even on your own.
Standing is one of the most important yoga poses.
These kind of poses are helpful in aligning your body and your feet.👣
These kind of poses are very helpful in improving and maintaining a good posture by increasing strength and elasticity in your legs and hips.
Some common standing poses include mountain, tree, standing side bend, and chair pose.
Here are some other standing poses you can check out!
These types of yoga poses help to increase strength and flexibility preferably in your lower back and hips.
Seated poses also add suppleness to your knees, groin, ankles and most importantly your spine.
When in these poses, try to make sure you are breathing in fully and exhaling out fully.
By doing this, it helps you to relax your muscles and let go of any tension you may be feeling at that present moment.
Boat pose, canoe, Bharadvaja’s twist, seated forward bend, and lotus are all great seated poses you can try.
Check out these other seated poses!
Forward Bend Poses
These poses help to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings and your lower back.
I usually have tight hamstring and hips and forward bend poses help to loosen them up.
I try to do these kinds of poses every day to keep my hamstring loose and free from tightening back up again.
All that does is lead to Charlie horses. 🐴
And trust me they are NOT fun.
Forward bend poses also decrease tension in your neck, shoulders, back along with increased flexibility in your spine.
As you can see, strengthening and increasing flexibility in your spine is key in yoga.
When your spine is loose and flexible, it reduces the risk of injuries.
Our bodies were meant to move and not sit all day.
By keeping your spine flexible and loose, you are able to push past your limits and go farther than you have ever gone before in your practice.
Popular forward bend poses include rag doll, seated forward bend, extended one leg pigeon, standing split, side seated angle, halfway lift, and downward facing dog.
Here are some more forward bend poses for you to try!
Backbend poses are extremely helpful in opening up your chest, hips, and even your rib cage.
All of that openness allows oxygen to flow in and out without restriction.
It also gets oxygen to your vital organs, muscles, and joints.
Backbend poses also aid in strengthening and making your arms stronger along with relieving tension from the front of your body.
It simultaneously increases your flexibility and elasticity in your shoulders and spine.
When your spine has more flexibility you will be able to bend your body in ways you will be shocked that it could do.
Some backbend poses you can look into are dancer, fish, sphinx, camel, upward facing dog, and bridge.
Check out more backbend poses to find out which ones work the best for you!
Balance poses are super challenging because they require leg and core strength.
The real challenge comes as you move from one pose to the next while keeping one leg lifted off the floor the entire time.
The perfect example of this is moving from warrior 3 to half moon to 3 legged dog.
It can be a lot especially if you are just started out.
Some of the best balance poses out there are tree pose, half moon, warrior 3, airplane, 3 legged dog, eagle, and side plank.
If you lose your balance when performing these poses that’s okay.
It takes time to build up your leg and core strength.
Get your balance on with even more balance poses.
Those were just some of the many different poses you will encounter as you progress in your yoga practice.
By practicing these basic poses on a regular basis it can help you build strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Try not to worry if you cannot perform each of them correctly at first.
As you continue to practice them, your strength will increase and performing these poses will get easier.
To Wrap Things Up…
Yoga combined with meditation harmonizes the body and mind in a way that can only be fully understood by people who practice it.
Yoga is more than just stretching, wearing cute yoga pants, or people saying “Namaste” to each other.
By the way, ‘Namaste’ means…
the light in me honors and respects the light in you.
It also means…
I bow to the divine that is in you.
Pretty much, when you say this word, you are passing along the positive energy from yourself to the person who is receiving it.
There is a spiritual meaning to this word as well.
I can go on about this all day, but overall for me, yoga is “Me Time.”
It’s like a mini “retreat” away from the hustle and bustle of life.
I get so relaxed after each yoga session that I end up almost falling asleep!
So… what are you waiting for?
Why not start taking part in this age-old practice and enjoy the benefits for yourself.
Yoga can be practiced ANYWHERE!
You really only need a mat, 2 blocks and maybe a strap, especially if you are a beginner.
You can practice anywhere like a yoga studio, the beach,🏖 in the woods, or even in your own home.
The options are unlimited!
There’s no better day than today to start!
To understanding why yoga matters,
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