It's time to roll out your yoga mat and discover the combination of physical and mental exercises that for thousands of years have hooked yoga practitioners around the globe. The beauty of yoga is that you don't have to be a yogi or yogini to reap the benefits. Whether you are young or old, overweight or fit, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body. Don't be intimidated by yoga terminology, fancy yoga studios and complicated poses. Yoga is for everyone!
What is Yoga Asanas?
Yoga Asanas is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. Many people think that asanas is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, asanas is really about creating balance in the body through developing strength, flexibility, endurance, agility and relaxation. This is done through the performance of postures and poses, each of which has specific psycho-physical benefits.
How is Yoga Done?
Yoga poses or Asanas involve standing poses which strengthen your legs and the core, particularly when balance is incorporated. Seated poses are used to stretch your muscles more deeply. Both standing and seated postures may include forward bending, twisting, hamstring stretching, and hip opening. Once the body is warmed up, backbends are often taught to improve spinal mobility. The practice usually ends with five or ten minutes of complete relaxation.
What are the Health Benefits of Yoga Asanas?
In recent years, more and more research is demonstrating the wide- ranging health benefits of yoga asanas. Maintaining a regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefits :
Yoga asanas increases muscle strength and tone,the flexibility of your ligament joints, and you may even discover that you have more energy and even stamina.
You may have developed a curve in your back over time. But the good news is you can use yoga for reinforce the natural curve in your back and improve your posture and blood flow.
Yoga asanas can help you reduce back pain and maintain a healthy spine.
Yoga asanas can help ease stress because it uses slow and deep breaths to lower your body's levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as supply your brain with more of the oxygen it needs to work at its best.
When people are stressed, it could be because they are dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Yoga, however, emphasizes the importance of being present in the moment which could help treat anxiety and combat stress over the long-term.
Who Can Do Yoga?
Forget any stereotype you might have in your head of what a "yoga person" looks like because anyone can do yoga. That includes men, seniors, children, people with bigger bodies, and so on. If you have a body, you can do yoga. If you are not at all flexible that does not mean you cannot do yoga asanas. Yoga is not a sport that you need to have trained for since childhood. It is not a competition where the bendiest person gets a prize. It is not even something you can be "good at" or "bad at" because there is not final goal to achieve, nothing to accomplish.
How to Get Started?
The myriad benefits of yoga asanas - including increased strength and bone density and reduced stress - should be enough to get anyone on the mat. So how do you follow through and actually get started? The easiest thing you can do is find a class nearby and go to it. Though it is possible to do yoga at home, it is not an ideal way to start. Taking classes with an experienced teacher gets you going on the right foot so that you begin to understand the fundamentals of alignment and avoid injury.
If you are still nervous, remember that everyone who does yoga was once a beginner. Once you get your butt on a mat in a classroom, the yoga becomes inevitable. The sooner you start, the sooner you will discover its wonderful benefits. Yoga is a lifelong practice that will help you stay healthy for years to come.
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