The Benefits of Yoga

25 Jan

I was pregnant with my firstborn when I tried yoga for the first time.  I mean truly tried to practice yoga.  I had attempted to take a yoga class at a gym many years prior to that first pre-natal yoga class in 2003 but I couldn’t take it seriously so I hadn’t returned to it.  That is, until I got pregnant and wanted to try something different from the vigorous weight training/cardio routines I had been used to performing at the gym.  That was almost a decade ago.  Today yoga has not only become part of my workout routine, it has become an important part of my life.

There are just too many benefits of yoga to ignore this practice and the positive influence it has had and continues to have in my life.  I suffer from arthritis in my both of my hips and for someone as active as I am (I work out 5-6 times/week), the pain in my joints sometimes interferes with my training regimen.  Yoga helps alleviate this pain.  By increasing my flexibility and range of motion in my joints, I am able to continue to do my usual training without aggravating the pain in my hips.

Not only does yoga increase flexibility and lubricate the joints, tendons and ligaments in our body, yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal organs and glands in our body.  By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body.  This helps in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny.  Yes, that’s right…it’s a form of detox.  Not to mention the excellent toning of the muscles that is going on when holding many of those yoga positions!

Another aspect of yoga is the part of meditation.  What yoga does is harmonize the mind with the body and this results in amazing benefits.  This harmonization helps the mind work in sync with the body.  How often do you find yourself unable to perform an activity properly or in a manner satisfying to you because of the confusions and conflicts that weigh you down in your mind?  Not to mention the level of stress most of us deal with on a daily basis.  Stress has a strong negative impact on all parts of our physical and emotional systems.  Did you know that this can be corrected through the wonderful yoga practice of meditation?  When you walk in to a yoga class you are asked to get rid of all the thoughts in your mind.  You need to start your practice with a clear and open mind.  You let go of all the stresses that may have impacted you on your way to your class and you do not let the thoughts of what is yet to come, enter your mind.  You practice yoga in the “here and now”.  It forces you to just be in the moment – something that can be quite difficult for someone with a Type A personality like me!  It is an amazing form of mental and physical release.

Since I am always up for a new challenge, I tried hot yoga for the first time this past Spring and have been hooked ever since!!  It brings the practice up to a whole new level.  Although I appreciate the meditative aspects of yoga, being a fitness junkie, I admit I feel the need to sweat and feel like I am still getting a workout.  Practicing hot yoga flow definitely satisfies that craving, not to mention the approximate 400-500 calories I am burning per session.  I currently practice hot yoga 2-3 times a week at a Moksha Yoga near my office.  Check out this website for a location near you:  www.mokshayoga.ca.

If you need a change in your usual workout routine or you just want to try something new, or perhaps there is too much stress in your life right now and you need a way to de-stress.  Whatever the reason(s), why don’t you grab a mat, a bottle of water and try some yoga.  I doubt you will be disappointed.

Namaste

http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/822

http://www.hot-yoga.net/faq/

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One Response to “The Benefits of Yoga”

  1. w9 form January 29, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    Hot yoga benefits your body & psyche by means of meditation and works to achieve harmony helping the mind synchronize with the body

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