Image from Hannah Rose Fit
You've probably seen those crazy yoga poses on Instagram, heard from your friend how amazing yoga makes them feel and seen yoga studios popping up left right and centre. There's no doubt that yoga is becoming more and more popular, but why should you give it a try? Here are five reasons why you need to give it a go, ASAP!
1. Yoga Helps Improve Flexibility
The go to phrase that people say in relation to not trying yoga is 'but I can't touch my toes, look!' *person demonstrates not being able to touch their toes. But really, flexibility isn't a pre-requisite of yoga, it's a result of yoga. I am naturally pretty inflexible, but my range of movement has improved so much!
2. Yoga Will Make You Stronger
Yoga is a strong practice, you hold challenging moves for several breaths and this helps improve strength and endurance. I've never felt stronger than I have since practicing yoga regularly, and the feeling is amazing, plus looking toned isn't bad either!
3. Yoga Helps Prevent Injury
By improving flexibility, strength, increasing the range of movement through your joints, improving proprioception (awareness of your body and how it moves), you can stave off injuries and also it can help you stay active if you are currently injured, as it's low impact and there are always ways to modify poses. I practice yoga with a chronic knee injury and I find it so freeing to be able to keep practicing even though I'm injured.
4. Yoga Will Help Your Cardio Workouts
After practicing yoga most days, and not doing any cardio for 8 months due to my knee injury, I went to a spin class and was petrified of feeling that chest pain that would show I needed to start doing some aerobic cardio, but to my surprise, my lungs kept up with me and the class was actually enjoyable, tough (!) but enjoyable. I figured that the controlled and lengthened breathing we do during vinyasa flow yoga classes must have helped me, and after doing some research, there is some evidence to suggest that practicing yoga increases your lung capacity, lowers your resting heart rate, improves blood circulation and therefore could help reduce the likelihood of issues such as heart disease.
5. Yoga is Great for Your Mental Health
There are so many reasons why yoga is great for your mental health, so I will just name a few that have been relevant to me and my journey. In the world that we live in, mental health problems are becoming more and more prevalent, and for me yoga has helped considerably with anxiety, as it helps you to focus and it helps your nervous system relax and become more controlled, thereby reducing anxiety attacks off the mat in my everyday life. It has also helped me become a lot more comfortable with myself and my body, there is no competition in yoga, and you learn to drop any ego and just do what you are able to and you focus on that.
I hope I've convinced you that yoga is something you need to try out, I love it so much and there are so many amazing studios and teachers out there.
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