A lot of people think that yoga is all about meditation, sitting still and breathing deeply until you feel all your worries melt away. It is a great form of meditation but it can also be an intense workout. I started practicing yoga almost 10 years ago as a way of dealing with university stress but it has been a part of my life ever since and still gives me a good workout now that I am in my mid-twenties. I fell in love with it because of the great benefits for my mental health as well as how it keeps me physically fit.
During a yoga session, youâ€™ll be improving your lean muscle growth, balance, coordination and core strength. Sessions can range from 20 minutes to an hour and most gyms will have yoga classes or you can even join a local yoga club. With plenty of home workout options for yoga as well, thereâ€™s no reason not to give it a try. Here are just a few of the benefits associated with regular yoga practice.
Decreases Stress and Anxiety
One of the main reasons why people love yoga and would even say they are addicted to the practice, is the incredible effect on your mental well-being. Yoga is used to relax, decrease stress and anxiety and, like all exercise, increase the production of serotonin in the brain which in turn makes you feel happier.
There are a range of yoga practices for different states of mind. Whether you have had a long day and need something to unwind with or you have just woken up and want a surge of energy, thereâ€™s a practice for every mood.
Improves Balance and Core Strength
One of the key incentives of yoga is to improve your core muscles and increase your balance. The positions you will practice with yoga might seem tricky to start with but there are beginner versions of each move to get you going and, after a few months of practice, youâ€™ll find yourself perfecting positions you would have never attempted to start with.
Many practices incorporate ab workouts into the session. You might not have thought that you would be doing crunches as a part of yoga, but a strong core is actually essential to the practice. The great thing about yoga for people who hate sit ups or any strenuous ab exercises, is that it is all about control. Instead of trying to quickly produce as many crunches as possible, you will slowly engage your core and hold the positions until you feel a gradually increasing burn in your abdomen as your muscles come alive.
With improved core strength, each position will become easier to achieve as your balance will also improve. Youâ€™ll be able to impress your friends with everything from a standing tree pose to a free-standing headstand without losing your balance.
Full Body Workout
As well as relaxation and meditation, yoga makes for an incredible full body workout, targeting everything from the legs to your core. With yoga, you can build lean muscle without bulking up too much and show off that toned slender figure. Many sessions are designed to really get you working so, if you feel like yoga is an easy workout, give a more intense practice a try and see if you can keep up.
Yoga is a fun way to keep fit that you can do from anywhere. All you need is a yoga mat and you can take up your practice on the beach, at the park or from the comfort of your own home.