The Benefits of Yoga for Men and Women
No matter what age you are Yoga can provide you with incredible benefits. To someone who has never tried it before it probably looks intimidating to see all those incredible Yogis out there stretching, bending and contorting their bodies into seemingly impossible poses. It is important to remember that even they were beginners at some point. Nobody starts off amazing at any sport, or athletic endeavor. It takes years and years of practice to gain a high level of flexibility and mobility that advanced Yogis have. But even the basic movements and poses can be incredibly beneficial to a novice Yogi. What that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the benefits Yoga provides.
Increase flexibility and mobility
Our bodies are designed for movement, but most of us spend a lot of time sitting in an office chair working at a computer or moving very little throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle causes your joints and muscles to get stiff and tighten up. Yoga includes many physical postures (called yoga asanas) that loosen the joints that make up your spine–a great way to restore your flexibility and mobility. If you have soreness from sitting in your shoulders, back, and neck, Yoga can greatly reduce common aches and pains.
Get toned, build muscle
Yoga as a practice goes far beyond stretching and flexibility by using weight bearing exercises like the plank, eagle, and warrior pose to strengthen and build muscle. You will notice an impact in your legs, shoulders, and core, giving you a total body workout and burning body fat. Some of the most recommended exercises for increasing strength and balance come directly from yoga.
Relive anxiety and stress
Our busy lifestyles can leave us feeling anxious and stressed at the end of the day. Think of your body like a battery, storing the energy you need for an active lifestyle. If that energy is always being stored up and has nowhere to go your mental health will suffer as a consequence. If you feel high levels of anxiety or stress, you will benefit from setting some time aside daily for a meditative, low impact workout. Have you ever heard a Yogi talk about the “high” they get after 30 minutes of Yoga? Practicing yoga releases endorphins and dopamine, reducing negative feelings and making you feel good.
If you are already active in the gym, be it lifting weights, or pursuing an athletic endeavor, adding Yoga into your training routine can greatly reduce the risk of suffering an injury during a workout. Practicing yoga builds “body awareness,” which will help you better assess yourself, keeping you conscious of how your body feels and the limits of your physical capability. Not only does yoga build body awareness but having flexible, well-stretched yoga muscles will help your body recover more quickly after a tough workout.