Yoga may be called a modern trend by some but it is hardly so. Yoga has been practiced for well over five thousands years and is practiced by almost eleven million Americans today. Yoga is composed of two parts. The first part in which most of the western world emphasizes is the physical aspects but mental/spiritual exercises play a large role as well. Yoga’s main benefits are flexibility, strength, and posture.
Yoga improves flexibility by putting its users through a series of poses called asanas. The stretches release lactic acid built up in your muscles that causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. Yoga poses can be difficult for those not used to stretching their muscles but this should not scare them off. Although the stretches may be difficult they will become easier as the benefits of yoga take effect. Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga focus less on stretching muscles and more on using them. These forms of yoga improve muscle tone by lining up your muscles in a precise fashion. The Downward Dog, Upward Dog, and Plank poses are examples of strength oriented yoga poses. The third benefit comes with the combination of the other two. As your muscle strength and flexibility increase your posture will naturally improve. This is a huge benefit for anyone who has an office job and are used to long periods of time sitting and slouching in their seats. A better posture will prevent back problems down the road and will give you a better overall appearance. Posture can be a hard thing to improve so yoga is a great step towards that.
Whether you are looking to improve your flexibility, strength, or posture yoga is a worth while investment. You will reap the physical rewards of it as well as gain better mental wellness and overall appearance. If you have never tried yoga before, look up a personal trainer at your local gym or do an internet search and teach yourself. Either way what you will find will probably surprise you.