Why You Should Do Yoga
If you've wondered why you should do yoga, it turns out there are quite a few benefits to this unique and ancient form of exercise. Thinking about incorporating some yoga into your everyday fitness routine? Keep reading to find out why it's the right move!
1. Yoga is an excellent workout â€“ and anyone can do it.
One of the best things about yoga is that there are so many different kinds of movements and styles that virtually anyone, regardless of age or fitness level, can tackle it. You can also adapt the movements to suit your particular speed and level of comfort. Of course, the more you practice it, the easier it will become to accomplish the more challenging movements, but then that's part of it what makes yoga such a good workout: it helps you gain overall strength and stamina.
2. It deepens your understanding of your own body.
When most people think of yoga, it's often associated with the mind/body connection. This is because yoga exercises typically require you to contract or relax particular muscles when stretching into each pose, which in turn requires you to focus on those specific muscles. Honing your focus on individual muscles will grow your awareness of what your body is capable of, as well as help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
3. It can improve your breathing, posture, AND sleep.
Breathing exercises are a key component of yoga. Whether integrated into positions or done on their own, practicing them helps to focus and center your breathing, and encourages taking slower, deeper breaths. Not only does this help improve the function of your lungs, but it also triggers a relaxation response, which boosts the oxygen available to your body.
It also makes sense that practicing yoga improves posture, since many poses require a straight back in order to be done properly. Many poses also strengthen and open tight areas of the body, such as the upper back and shoulders, which further promotes good posture.
And if you're having trouble falling asleep? Some studies have shown that a small amount of light physical activity before attempting to go to bed can help sleep come more quickly. One study conducted at a hospital found that insomniacs fell asleep 15 minutes quicker and slept one hour longer every night during a 2-month period doing 45 minutes of yoga before bed. One possibility is that regular practice promoted general relaxation, hence easy sleep!
4. It's a great source of stress relief.
It would be impossible to choose the best reason why you should do yoga, but this one is definitely up there. Modern life is incredibly stressful; between work, school, training, hobbies, family, and friends, we're always rushing from one thing to another. The thing about yoga, however, is that since it's gentle, rather than aggressive, it helps promote a deeper sense of calmness and relaxation, which in term lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
5. It helps reduce the risk of injury.
For athletes in particular, a great reason why you should do yoga is that since poses target specific muscles, this increases flexibility, which in turns minimizes the risk of injury to those muscles. With regular practice, muscles become well-stretched, allowing them to recover more quickly after getting strained.
As if those weren't enough reasons why you should do yoga, a short list of other benefits includes:
- Increased overall strength
- Improved circulation
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
- Improved digestion
- Boosted immune system
- Increased concentration
- Improved balance and stability
- Pain relief
Still wondering why you should do yoga? Of course not â€“ you must be halfway to the yoga mat by now, right?! In all seriousness, why you should do yoga covers a lot of ground, but the bottom line is that it's a great way to level yourself that is not incredibly taxing on your body, yet will have a lasting impact. And now that our sleek and sexy Asana Yoga Tote is available, you have the perfect way to carry meals, your trusty yoga mat, and everything else you need to keep your body and mind equally nourished anywhere you need to go!
Second image courtesy of @angelpaws2.