What Are the Benefits of Yoga?
Although yoga has been around in the United States since the early 1900s, in the past 20 years, the popularity of yoga has skyrocketed. Every day, more and more people are introducing themselves to the benefits of yoga. It may sound cliché, but yoga is really one of those things you need to experience in order to appreciate it!
Once seen as an activity solely for women, the appeal of yoga has spread to every type of person imaginable. If you ask a non-yogi what benefits they would expect from yoga, you would undoubtedly hear about relaxation and flexibility. Practicing yogis know that these are just the start! So, what other benefits of yoga can you expect?
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Strength - With the evolution of yoga has come many goal-specific types of yoga. For example, here at The Mat, we offer PowerFlow and Core Yoga. These classes focus on poses that strengthen your body and give you a good workout. Many people immediately think of the gym when they think about improving physical strength. However, if you've ever attempted body weight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, or squats, you know how great of a workout it can be! Furthermore, the balance it takes to hold many of these poses help to build your stabilizer muscles. Many of these muscles do not get used in a typical exercise routine.
Balance - Continuing where we left off talking about strength, your balance can greatly be improved through yoga. From basic poses that shift your weight while on both feet to advanced positions such as holding yourself in a headstand, balance is a fundamental skill involved in yoga. As you practice yoga more, you will notice your balance improving.
Cardiovascular Health - Many newcomers are shocked when they find themselves sweating after a good yoga class! Yoga really gets your blood flowing and helps to improve your circulation. There have been multiple studies that show improved heart health in yoga practitioners. With heart disease being the number one cause of death in the US, it is no wonder so many people are turning to yoga.
Stress Reduction - There is a good reason that many yoga classes, such as our ZenFlow class, mix some meditation in with yoga. In practice, there are many similarities between the two activities. Both meditation and yoga incorporate focus, breathing techniques, and relaxation. Consistency with this practice helps to lower stress and keep positive throughout the day.
Improved Concentration - Again, tying in meditation with yoga, both practices focus on being in the moment. When you focus on the moment, you train your ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. In a world where everything seems to move at the speed of light, this hugely helps with all of the daily distractions one may experience.
While this article only touches on some of the broad benefits of yoga, there are countless others that yogis experience. For example, people have experienced improvements with conditions like arthritis, chronic back pain, PTSD, and insomnia. One of the reasons yoga is so popular is because of the many variations that exist. Just like building an exercise routine that targets your specific goal (weight loss, building muscle, cadio health), you can tailor your yoga program to your own needs.
Indeed, yoga is a form of exercise for both the mind and the body. As you get more proficient in yoga, the benefits become more noticeable and more widespread. Building a good foundation that allows you to comfortably improve and progress. Here at The Mat, we offer a full range of yoga classes from beginner to advanced. Contact us online or call us today to take advantage of our new member special! For only $49, take unlimited classes for 30 days!