For most of us, working out isn’t exactly the highlight of our day. Skipping a workout for an evening in front of the TV certainly sounds more enjoyable…. but it won’t do you any favours. Exercise is a must. Why? It helps maintain overall levels of health and fitness.
If you hate breaking a sweat, it’s time to find a more enjoyable way to do it. That’s right – just because you’re getting your workout in doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process! Yoga has become more popular than ever thanks to the mental and physical health benefits associated with the practise. But just what is yoga?
A Bit About Yoga
The average workout involves lots and lots of squats, weights, and cardio. You do rep after rep until you feel like you literally can’t do any more. Unlike other workout methods, yoga is less about squats and more about connecting the mind and the body together. This is done through breathing techniques, moments of meditation, and taking time to give thanks. The purpose is to breakaway from the stresses and strains of daily life and connect with your inner self. When combined with challenging yoga poses, you are able to build muscle and endurance – while achieving a more positive mental attitude.
The Benefits of Yoga
Wondering if you should include yoga in your fitness routine? Just take a moment to consider the benefits. There are many! Yoga is thought to give you more energy and has been proven to reduce levels of stress. It also lowers blood pressure, increases flexibility (thanks to all of those poses!), and increases overall levels of strength.
Yoga also benefits mental health. By calming your mind and bringing intention to each pose that you do, you connect to your body in a new way. The deep breathing, calming atmosphere, and personal reflection is great for your mind because it helps you stay calm and focused. Plus, you can get a solid workout without putting as much strain on your body or mind.
Who Can Practise Yoga?
There is a common misconception that yoga is primarily for women in their early thirties. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone can practise yoga! Men, women, and children of all ages are including yoga in their lives. Since it can be modified to suit different fitness levels (from beginner to intermediate), this really is an accessible way to get fit. Simple changes like modifying poses, doing shorter routines, and focusing on stretching, make yoga a possibility for people with many different levels of fitness.
Different Types of Yoga
There isn’t just one type of yoga out there. In fact, there are many! These different styles provide unique focuses. Bikram yoga is one of the most popular and it takes you through a total of 26 poses for a major sweat session. Anusara yoga, on the other hand, has more to do with opening your heart and experiencing a positive frame of mind. Other well-known branches of yoga include: hot yoga, ashtanga, hatha, and restorative yoga.
Want to increase your fitness level without spending day after day doing squats at the gym? Then yoga may be something to think about. The blend of mental and physical strength can help you find your inner warrior.