• This entry was posted in Fitness on January 20, 2016

  • When you hear the word “yoga,” skinny women in spandex contorting their bodies into otherworldly positions might come to mind.

    But yoga is more about personal strength than competition and bikini-related aspirations. Yoga as a practice originated in India, but didn’t gain popularity as a form of physical exercise in the United States until around the 1980s.

    Yoga has taken on various forms in gyms and studios around the world since – from hot, to vinyasa flow, to hatha, to power.

    One common thread across all types of yoga is the focus on building a calm, mindful, and happier existence.

    Yoga, in one of its many forms, can benefit and be practiced by everyone.

    Here are a few reasons why you should make it part of your routine. You’ll be saying “Namaste” before you know it.

    1. Greater flexibility. There are few exercises that offer flexibility benefits like yoga. In fact, the entire practice will improve your overall mobility and flow. People often think you have to already be flexible to practice yoga, but there are modifications for every pose. Working at your own pace is encouraged.

    2. Increased strength. Yoga is about more than seeing how far you can reach past your toes. Held poses strengthen your arms, butt, legs, and core. Need convincing? Here are 10 fantastic yoga poses for strength.

    3. Balance and humility. Moves like the tree pose test your awareness, focus, and stability, but yoga also teaches a different kind of balance – listening to your body and not pushing yourself too hard. If you’re wrapped up in performing like a rock star, you’ll struggle.

    4. Inner peace. The focus and calm in yoga puts life in perspective and silences busy minds. Use the 45-90 minutes to focus completely on doing something undeniably good for your body, soul, and mind. You’ll see – the mental and emotional benefits are just as inspiring as the physical.

    Everyone can benefit from having a yoga practice in their life – even if it’s sitting silently on a mat before work and meditating. In a world where we’re constantly tuned it, yoga is more vital than it’s ever been.

    Find a studio in your neck of the woods and give yourself two to three classes to let the benefits and calm soak in. “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” - Bhagavad Gita. The most important reason to add yoga to your routine: it can change your life.