In my adult life, I have been very active. I’ve run a few marathons; I’ve done some swimming, weight lifting and Pilates. When I discovered Yoga six years ago, I thought it would just be another fun activity to add to the mix. The more I continued to practice though I discovered that Yoga is so much more than just calisthenics.
Now, as a Yogaworks certified teacher and yogi I know that there is a science behind this practice. It is rich in benefits for your mind, body and spirit. It has become such a vital part of my everyday routine. There are so many different types of Yoga out there, and it is important to know which is right for your body. The benefits of doing this practice are beneficial to everyone.
1. Physical strength: It is a great tool for toning, and to improve flexibility. A good teacher will focus on instructing proper alignment to avoid injuries. In doing so, poses like Warrior I, Cobra Pose, and Down Dog are particularly beneficial for your posture and core strength.
2. Improves Concentration: Yoga provides a continuous flow of concentration and mediation that can be used as a tool for your everyday life. A good yoga class will leave you with a sense of inner peace that will last you throughout your day. This will help with decision-making and improve your concentration on tasks at hand.
3. Stress Relief: Yoga uses many different breathing-control techniques. By spending an hour or an hour and thirty minutes in a yoga class, doing movements that require you to inhale and exhale, can result in relieving tension that you may be holding in your body. This allows you to keep your attention inwards so that you can begin to notice moments when you are not breathing (like when your stressed out).
4. Chronic Illnesses: People who suffer from heart disease, obesity and diabetes garner the most benefit out of Yoga. A restorative yoga class uses blankets and props to help you ease into every amazing pose; this allows you to consciously and intelligently work through any physical obstacle you encounter. This will encourage you to continue to practice something that you may have thought impossible; and do so without feeling limited.
5. Smiling is allowed: Don’t take yourself too seriously, there are some poses that may make you feel silly. Do it with a smile on your face, doing Yoga isn’t about doing everything perfectly. It is about having fun, being safe and enjoying you!
Anyone can practice yoga, it doesn’t matter how fit or “not fit” you are. There are many modifications you can do in every yoga pose to reap its benefits. Begin to research what type of Yoga practice best suits you and your lifestyle. Yoga is not about pain; it is about achieving inner strength and feeling good about yourself so that you can enjoy your body, and your life. So, roll out your mat and do your practice!
Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com