12 REASONS TO DO YOGA
I was a gymnast for eleven years so you’d think I’d know all the benefits and reasons to do yoga.
Unfortunately, I never really got into yoga.
I think I know a thing or two about stretching. And I was pretty flexible being a gymnast and all.
But now. Years later. I NEED to do yoga.
Because I’m not flexible at all anymore. And my body lets me know I’m not flexible.
My main goal with adding yoga to my workout schedule was to gain back some flexibility in my body, especially my hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can mean lower back pain.
I’ve been pretty reluctant in adding yoga to my routine because it’s not a fast paced cardio or just one more strength training workout that I’m used to. I felt I’d be bored or that I really wasn’t working out.
However, my body tells me otherwise when I do do yoga. It feels so good.
Plus, there are lots of reasons to add yoga to your schedule.
12 Reasons To Do Yoga
- INCREASE FLEXIBILITY
Obviously, I needed to include the benefit of increased flexibility. As I mentioned, this is my main reason for doing yoga. Lots of people cannot touch their toes (this has also been my problem area too) and with a regular yoga practice your flexibility and mobility improves. Your muscles, ligaments and tendons lengthen and increase elasticity. You’ll be doing more yoga poses with greater ease. This improved range of motion also helps to reduce aches and pains. You’ll also gain better posture which will offer relieve to back, neck, joint and muscle pain and problems.
- STRESS RELIEF
There is a lot of relaxation, breathing and finding an inner calm with a regular yoga practice. Taking this time to concentrate on decompressing and disconnecting from the outside hecticness provides stress relief and can reduce the physical effects of stress. Yoga can also help ease symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and even insomnia.
- BREATHE WITH EASE
As I mentioned, in yoga there is a big focus on breathing. You are taught to be aware of your breathing and to take slower, deeper breaths. Doing this helps improve the function of your lungs. It triggers your body’s relaxation response. It also helps to increase the oxygen amount available to your body.
- PAIN RELIEF
If you add yoga to your workout plan, maybe you can ditch the pain meds. Instead of popping a couple ibuprofen, try some yoga. Yoga can ease pain. There are studies that show practicing yoga asanas, the posture poses, meditation or even a combo of them, reduced pain for those with cancer, multiple sclerosis, hypertensions, arthritis, back and neck pain.
- INCREASE STRENGTH
Count yoga as a full body strength training workout! You use every muscle in your body when doing yoga asanas (postures). They’re literally total body head to toe strength training moves.
- IMPROVE CARDIO CONDITIONING
Not only are you fitting in your strength training workout with yoga but you’re getting some cardio conditioning work, too. So that slow, boring, yoga workout I feel may be a waste of time is anything but. Even if it’s a gentle yoga workout, it still can lower your resting heart rate, increase endurance and improve oxygen uptake. Not bad for a slow yoga workout.
- MANAGE WEIGHT
Yoga is still exercise. It’s still a workout and simply adding exercise to your day you’ll burn extra calories. Yoga encourages a healthy lifestyle. You’ll want to make healthy nutrition habits. You’ll also feel better about yourself which improves self-esteem.
- IMPROVE CIRCULATION
Since you are using every muscle in your body while doing yoga poses and moving through those poses, your body’s circulation improves and moves oxygenated blood to cells in a more efficient manner.
- SHARPEN THE MIND
Yoga is all about the present. Focus on the present. Be in the present. Breathe in the present. It teaches you to become more aware of your body and to create mind body health. You may feel you can concentrate better; have better coordination and/or reaction time; you may even see an improvement in your memory.
- GROW A COMMUNITY
There are millions, about 35 and maybe more, Americans who practice yoga. That’s like 15% of U.S. adults! You are bound to find other yogis and build new friendships. You’ll explore, discover, inspire and be inspired by joining new yoga communities.
- IMPROVE SLEEP
Having trouble sleeping? Try a P.M. yoga workout. Research shows yoga can help with insomnia. By learning the breathing, relaxation and calming techniques used in yoga, you’ll be ready to hit the hay.
- INNER PEACE
While you may decide to take up yoga for one reason, you make walk away with multiple reasons. One being a happier life. With yoga meditation, you may find yourself in a deeper, more spiritual place in your life. You may find yourself more satisfied overall with where you are in your life.
So you can see that just these 12 reasons to do yoga is enough to give it a try. You may find you love it and completely convert to a yogi.
ARE YOU TRACKING YOUR WORKOUTS AND MEALS?
Are you keeping a fitness journal? Research shows that by keeping a food and fitness journal, writing down your workouts and what you eat, you lose more weight and reach your goals quicker. Fitbook is an awesome journal that provides tips, motivation and plenty of space to reflect and document things that inspire you. I use this to help plan my workouts and my meals. I love the extra tips it offers. Oftentimes, I’m left thinking – That’s a good one. I’ll have to try that. There are actually a few journal options to choose from.
Do you do yoga? How often? What’s your favorite reason to do yoga?
As always, please remember that I am not a medical professional, personal trainer or certified instructor… I’m just a hard hitting girl wants to be healthy and strong! Before you begin any fitness or nutrition program, please consult your physician!
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