There is no better time of year to get healthy than the summer. When the warm weather strikes, we often find ourselves revamping our diets and exercise routines to help get our bodies back in shape. Some people sign up for the gym, others hire fancy nutritionists. A lot of people also turn to another form of meditation and exercise: yoga. Yoga is a great option for many people for a lot of reasons. Below are ten reasons to try yoga, but they are just the beginning! The benefits are different for everyone.
#1 – Yoga increases your flexibility, thereby reducing your risk of incurring an injury. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to get injured in your activities. According to Ace Fitness, a nonprofit organization, “Each yoga pose targets specific muscles while also keeping them warm and limber, thereby increasing flexibility and reducing the risk of injury.”
#2 – Yoga improves your stability and balance. Yoga requires you to get into a number of difficult poses that you would not normally put yourself in. This helps teach your muscles to stabilize and improves your stability overall.
#3 – Yoga makes your posture better. If you find yourself often slouching, then consider practicing yoga to improve it. According to St. John Providence Health System, “Yoga poses strengthen and open tight areas of the body, such as the shoulders and muscles of the upper back, which is necessary for good posture.”
#4 – Increase your stamina and strength with yoga. If you practice a more vigorous version of yoga, like Vinyasa Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, then you will build your stamina and strength, in addition to your flexibility.
#5 – Yoga promotes meditation. A large part of yoga is clearing your mind and breathing, essentially meditating while you move. This can be a great way to find your own inner peace.
#6 – Yoga is often inexpensive. A lot of people are scared away from trying something new, often because they assume it will be expensive. But yoga is widely available at low prices. Look for “donation yoga” studios where you pay what you can afford, or check if the gym you’re already a member of offers yoga classes.
#7 –Anyone can do yoga. The term “yoga” often conjures up images of hippies and/or young people. But anyone, at any age, at any phase of their life, at any level of expertise can practice yoga in a way that makes them feel comfortable. You do not need to complete every pose, you can move at your own pace.
#8 – Yoga relieves pain. According to Yoga Alliance, “Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing Yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.”
#9 – Yoga relieves stress. Stress relief and yoga go hand in hand. It has been hailed as a great stress reliever for decades.
#10 – It is an effective way to manage weight. Even less vigorous kinds of yoga can help practitioners control their weight. It burns excess calories and encourages healthy eating, as well as boosts self-esteem. If you are looking for an alternative to the treadmill, yoga is a fantastic, proven option.
About The Author: Shawn Tremaine is a personal trainer and health and fitness writer, and has reviewed MindBodyMojo’s guide to Chicago yoga. When he’s not working on helping others increase their health, he likes to spend it coaching his little boys soccer team.