I have experienced the benefits of yoga by consistently adding yoga several times a week to my workout schedule over the past 3 months. Initially, I started yoga to improve running form and performance. Now, yoga is a favorite workout not only for the benefits but as a way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Benefits of Yoga
- Increased flexibility. Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles.
- Improved fitness. With regular practice and yoga can improve balance, range of motion and strength.
- Benefits breathing. Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This in turn can improve sports performance and endurance.
- Less stress and more calm. With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
- Better sleep. Regular practice of yoga can help people relax making it easier to turn off at the end of the day.
- It feels good!
In the past, my experience with yoga was at least an hour session and it was always the first workout to go if time was an issue and I had to skip a workout. The key for me was shorter sessions. Shorter sessions made frequent yoga sessions more doable. I practice yoga about 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. I’ve also started using yoga as an alternative to, as my daughter calls it, eating my feelings. A short yoga session works wonders when stressed or having a bad day. Keep in mind that some of the poses take practice to master. Don’t give up. With time the poses become easier and feel more natural.
Some of my favorite poses…
Warrior One (Source)
Warrior Two (Source)
Reverse Warrior (Source)
Revolved Crescent Lunge (Source)
This is one of my most advanced and challenging poses. It took a lot of practice and falling over onto my head.
Have you tried yoga? Do you practice yoga regularly? What is your favorite pose? What is your most challenging pose?