Lately yoga has gained a place in mainstream fitness news. You can do yoga with goats, beer yoga, wine yoga, hot yoga, and even aerial yoga. But what is yoga and why should you practice it?
The word yoga means union. Yoga unites mind, body, and spirit through breathing techniques and stretches. There are many different types of yoga, some types emphasize breath or flexibility more than others. The key is to find the type of yoga that works for you.
Each individual may have personal reasons for practicing yoga, but here are some universal benefits you might gain from yoga:
Improved Cardio Health
Yoga encourages relaxation. This relaxation sets in and causes blood vessels to ease and lowers blood pressure. This causes a decrease in stress on the heart and improves cardiac health.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Another benefit of the relaxation related to yoga is the reduction in stress and anxiety. This lowers cortisol or stress hormone levels. This has many positive effects on the body including a better ability to control anxiety and decrease in depression.
The practice of yoga increases what is called digestive fire. Digestive fire is a term which refers to the state of the digestive system. For example yoga helps balance the enzymes, acid, and aids in the digestion of the food we eat. This helps the body digest sugar and improve blood sugar levels.
Relieves Back and Neck Pain
Much of yoga involves holding a pose or asana. Asana is the technical term for yoga positions. Holding a pose causes the muscles to contract and relax. When these muscles relax tightness and muscle spasms disappear and pain is relieved. This pain can be located in other areas of the body, but may be most noticeable in the back or neck.
Sharpens Brain Activity
Yoga also focuses on breathing. This focus on breath actually increases oxygen levels and blood flow to the brain and other parts of the body. This increase can actually help memory performance and is another way to decrease signs of depression.
Promotes Positive Self Perception
Yoga is for every body. It does not require the same abilities as other activities. The focus on breath and body increase the awareness of our body’s abilities. This brings balance to the mind – and body! Practicing yoga requires self-control and awareness by reminding us to pay attention to the needs of our body, mind, and spirit.
All of these benefits help to reduce inflammation and signs of aging. The increase in body awareness and perception encourage healthy life choices. This leads to a decrease in the signs of aging and the oxidative stress that causes aging.
Still not convinced? Russellville Fitness Kickboxing offers several different yoga classes and instructors and would like to invite you in for a free class.
Click below to contact us about scheduling your first free Yoga class at RFK!