Oftentimes, when people hear the word yoga, the first thing they think about is flexibility. We often think of someone in great physical shape wearing yoga pants, on the floor with their yoga mat, contorting themselves into difficult positions using long stretches.
These stereotypes can make it hard to believe that yoga is for anyone. However, yoga is about so much more than just stretching. It encompasses many ancient practices that address health, body and mind through specific body postures, breathing techniques, mindfulness exercises, and sometimes meditation. Anyone can practice yoga and enjoy the benefits of making it part of their daily routine.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Yoga includes physical poses or postures combined with deep, controlled breaths. These two components together are what make this practice so unique. The poses can range from extremely relaxing to very challenging. They are designed to help increase strength and flexibility but also connect the mind with the body.
The physical health benefits of yoga include:
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Improved blood circulation and heart health
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Boost of energy and vitality
- Reduction in back and shoulder pain
- Boost in mood and higher concentration
- Protection from injury
Mental Benefits of Yoga
Because the practice of yoga is meant to bring together body and mind, it incorporates a variety of breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Yoga is a great activity to help you start your day in a great headspace, regroup midday when you need a pick-me-up, or wind down before bed.
The mental health benefits of yoga include:
- Stress reduction and anxiety relief
- Improved focus, concentration and memory
- Greater self-acceptance and self-awareness
- Boost in mood and positivity
- Better sleep quality
For Every Body
The practice of yoga is truly for everybody, no matter your shape or size. Yoga focuses on your overall wellness by connecting you deeper with your mind and body. By incorporating it into your daily routine, you can increase both your quality of life and your mental and physical stamina. Yoga can also be tailored to any skill or physical activity level with the right instruction and modifications. Whether you take a class at your local gym or follow a guided session on your streaming device, you can find a style that is right for you!