Yoga is wide-known as one of the best ways you can work on your strength and flexibility. The really good thing about yoga – is that everyone can do it. It is a misconception that yoga is just for people who meditate or for those already flexible enough to touch their toes.
There are many types of yoga – some are about relaxation, some will require you to move more. Asanas, or basic poses are what most yoga types focus on, while also dividing some of that focus to proper breathing.
Using Yoga to become more Flexible
As you shift from one asana to another, you will basically be stretching your muscles. By repeating this practice, you will reduce feelings of stiffness or tiredness and you will move more easily.
Whichever type of yoga you choose to start with, benefits will be noticeable pretty soon. According to scientific studies, only 8 weeks of yoga suffice for 35% improvement in flexibility with most of novice yoga practitioners.
Using Yoga to build Strength
There are certain types of Yoga, such as power-yoga and ashtanga that are very physical and practice of these types directly helps improvement of your muscle tone.
Hatha yoga and lyengar yoga are less vigorous than the above mentioned ones, yet they also provide considerable endurance and strength benefits.
Their asanas, such as upward or downward dog, plank pose, etc, considerably increase strength of your upper body muscles.
The standing asanas have even more increased benefit if you stay in those position for several long breaths as they improve strength of quadriceps, abs and hamstrings. If you want to increase the strength of your lower back muscles, make sure to include chair pose and upward dog asanas in your exercises.
It should also be noted that nearly all asanas, when done right, will help improve the core strength in your abdominal muscles.
Yoga Benefits – Better Posture
As you work on becoming more flexible and stronger, you will notice how your body posture improves as well. Especially asanas done in sitting and standing position help improve your core strength as you need to engage your core muscles to maintain each of them.
As your core becomes stronger, your standing and sitting posture will become better as well.
By practicing yoga, you will increase body awareness, which will help you notice more quickly if you’re slumping or slouching, so you can get back to a proper posture.
Yoga Benefits in Breathing
As you practice Yoga, you will learn techniques to pay attention to the way you breathe in and out, which is in itself a good relaxation method.
Practicing yoga doesn’t not belong to aerobic type of exercises, like cycling or running. It can be done as cardio though, if you increase speed and repetitions, while focusing on the more intense asanas.
Yoga helps reduce stress
As you practice yoga, you will probably feel more and more in peace with yourself and relaxed.
There are some yoga techniques that incorporate meditation in their practice, which helps you tone down the feeling of unsettledness and calm down your mind.
You can achieve the same thing with appropriate breathing techniques or meditation. A black onyx mala that will keep you focused on meditation process is a great way to start. Among other benefits, Black Onyx has the ability to invoke both physical and mental strength and stamina. Check out our collection of beautiful mala beads, made of various beneficial gemstones that are guaranteed to improve meditation effects. They have been designed so you can also wear them as jewelry when you aren’t meditating.
Yoga is beneficial for your heart
By practicing yoga, you will slow down your heart rate and lower the blood pressure. This is especially beneficial for people who are suffering from any form of heart disease, who have had a stroke, or are battling high blood pressure.
Yoga exercises help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels and help make your immune system more resistant and stronger.
How to choose the right type of Yoga for you
For a beginner, choosing the right type of yoga might not be an easy task, as there are over 100 different types to choose from. Some are relaxing and gentle, while others are more intense and fast-paced.
Here are some of the most popular yoga forms:
- Hatha Yoga – this is the most common type of yoga and when most people say they practice yoga, they mean this type. Hatha Yoga combines breathing with a series of basic asanas.
- Vinyasa Yoga - involves a series of asanas that smoothly flow from one into another.
- Power Yoga – A set of exercises that is based on asanas, but includes higher-intensity, faster practice with a goal to build muscles.
- Ashtanga Yoga – involves special breathing technique in combination with a series of asanas.
- Bikram Yoga – involves performing a series of 26, very challenging asanas, in a heated room. Temperature of the room is typically very high and this type of yoga is also called ‘hot yoga’.
- Iyengar Yoga – involves usage of various props for exercises. They include straps, chairs and blocks and their goal is to help you align your body into a proper position.