It wasn’t too many decades ago that yoga was seen as a counterculture activity, a mystical practice on the fringe of society in the United States. Today, it’s everywhere, and you can find yoga workouts at gyms, online, and streaming for your convenience. Why are so many people into yoga? It offers some real benefits for the body and mind.
- Yoga can help you if you’re trying to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Yoga involves slow movements and deep breathing, which increase the blood flow and warm up your muscles, promoting flexibility. Holding poses builds strength and helps improve balance. In the tree pose, for instance, you’ll stand on one foot, holding your other foot to your calf or above the knee at a right angle. Focusing on a spot in front of you, balance in that pose for one minute.
- Doing yoga can alleviate back pain and relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Done gently, yoga is good for easing the discomfort of arthritis. It also works as a stretching exercise to ease lower back pain and improve mobility; it’s recommended by the American College of Physicians for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. The cat-cow pose is good for this: on all fours, with your palms under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, inhale, letting your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then exhale, drawing your navel toward your spine, as you arch your back like a cat stretching.
- Yoga can give you more energy, brighten your mood, and reduce your stress. When you begin to get into a routine of practicing yoga, you’ll notice an increase in mental and physical energy, as well as a boost in alertness and enthusiasm. You’ll have fewer negative feelings and be better able to manage stress.
- You’ll get a better night’s rest after practicing yoga. Consistently practicing yoga at bedtime can help prepare your body to fall asleep and help you sleep more soundly. Try the legs up the wall pose, sitting with your left side against the wall, then turning right and lifting your legs up to rest against the wall, back on the floor, heels against the wall.
- Yoga helps you keep your heart healthy. Practicing yoga regularly reduces stress levels and overall inflammation. This contributes to a healthy heart, helping address high blood pressure and excess weight. Try the downward facing dog pose: starting on all fours, wrists aligned with shoulders and toes tucked, exhale and push the hips up and back, straightening your legs.
- The yoga community is supportive and nurturing. Participating in a yoga class affords you an environment where the group is focused on healing and support.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, reach your fitness goals, or practice healthy self-care, a supportive environment can enhance the experience. At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we offer world-class training that keeps up-to-date with the latest in health and wellness. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join today or contact us to learn more.