Careful and controlled stretching can do wonders for tense muscles, but the practice known as yoga involves more than just touching your toes to work out the kinks. This ancient practice first originated as part of a greater spiritual tradition that has been a major part of the culture in India. Yoga spread to the world at the end of the 19th century, and now millions of people enjoy its beneficial effects. Committing to a weekly routine that involves at least one yoga class will provide you with a number of unexpected benefits.
The slow and gentle movements of Hatha yoga may look simple enough, but they must be performed correctly to maximise the benefits and reduce the chance for damage. An incorrect stretch could hurt a muscle or group of muscles, or develop an incorrect alignment that leads to pain. It can be tempting to try and start a routine with a book or a few videos on the Internet. However, it’s crucial that beginners get the hands-on help of a yoga class before they start practising on their own. The instructor will ensure each student is stretching correctly and safely.
It can be hard to get up and stick to an exercise routine, even if you love the experience once you hit the mat. Working with a group of fellow students and a friendly instructor will provide you with some extra motivation. If you can commit to regular classes, you also give your teacher a chance to remember your particular strengths and weaknesses. This makes it easier for them to adjust your posture in the middle of a pose. A teacher who remembers your face and skills can immediately give you pointers on how to make a difficult stretch work for you.
If you can’t seem to keep up with a regular exercise routine no matter what you try, starting with yoga could help break this cycle. Yoga classes are often less intense and exhausting than aerobics or weightlifting. You don’t have to be in great shape or have a lot of stamina to take a beginner’s class for 30 minutes at a time. Learning to enjoy the time you spend focusing on your body will make it much easier to stick with other exercise plans. Yoga trainers also teach important meditation and focus techniques as part of their classes. Developing the ability to sit still and calm for at least a few minutes provides you with peace in the middle of the most stressful days at work or home.
Long-Term Stress Reduction
Going through the motions and focusing on the breath provides an amazing boost to your brain, according to Science Daily. Scientific studies found that mood improved and stress decreased as the GABA neurochemical was released in the brain. Each session of yoga will trigger this kind of boost, but the best way to deal with minor depression and anxiety issues is to make a yoga class a part of your weekly routine. This keeps your GABA levels steadier than an occasional class every few months.
Even the mildest forms of yoga help strengthen and tone the muscles. Training yourself to take deep, full breaths also helps you fend off the need to huff and puff while you’re running or swimming. If you are serious about your athletic performance, a healthy schedule of yoga classes will only boost your ability to reach your goals in the long run.
Sending you warmth
Namaste ~ Amanda