If you are looking to kick off a healthier lifestyle, you are not alone. The most popular resolution people make at the start of a new year is to get themselves in shape.
Some may clamp down on the latest diet craze, while others may join a gym. While neither are bad, they may be harder to stick to in the long run.
When people try and make too many changes to their health routine all at once, it may end in a blaze of glory sooner rather than standing the test of time.
You can start shifting to a healthier, more active lifestyle by trying yoga. While it may seem intimidating, yoga is one of the most adaptable and versatile activities you can do.
Learn about 6 benefits that make yoga a standout among the fitness pack:
1. Improves Flexibility and Mobility
One of the first things you likely think of when someone mentions yoga is a person tangled up in a pretzel. Yoga does help increase flexibility, but it does so over time. Through guided movements, you will slowly stretch and lengthen muscles increasing flexibility. Joints, especially those in the arms and legs, also get worked, thereby improving range of motion.
2. Promotes a Brain-Body Connection
Yoga involves slow and deliberate moves executed with the inhale and exhale of breath. This concentrated effort helps to build a strong mind-body connection. The practice relies heavily on this connection to help build confidence in what you can do and promote calming techniques. For instance, your yoga instructor may have you close your eyes and picture an idyllic scene. Perhaps you conjure up the image of being aboard an Iceland cruise in beautiful blue waters. Since yoga and meditation can be done anywhere, they prove most useful in reducing stress and coping with outside stresses regardless of where you are.
3. Slows Heart Rate and Strengthens the Heart
Heart health is important, especially as you age. Maintaining a handle on heart rate will help drive blood pressure down and result in better cholesterol numbers. Since yoga is not only strength building but also meditative, it proves most beneficial to the heart. Controlling your breath during the practice will help lower heart rate, and building muscle will result in the heart also getting stronger.
4. Helps You Get More Sleep
Relaxation is something that you may feel lacking in your life. The stress of family, current events and your job may all be making it hard to sleep. Sure, you may fall asleep quickly, but staying asleep and feeling rested in the morning may be lacking. Yoga can improve sleep through regular practice. You can also try specific routines or poses right before bedtime that aid in relaxation.
5. Adapts to Every Fitness Level
Yoga is not just a young person’s practice. All ages and fitness levels can partake in a regular practice. There are many ways to modify yoga poses to fit physical limitations. For example, if you are not flexible enough to put your hands to the mat from a standing position, raise the floor using a blanket or yoga block. You will also find yoga routines specifically designed for seniors, people recovering from surgery, and the like. There is always a way to participate in yoga.
6. Leaves a Feeling of Accomplishment
When you achieve a goal, it leaves you feeling happy and confident. Whether it is hitting a certain weight or being able to touch your toes, yoga offers every opportunity for advancement and achievement at all levels. Maybe you finally nailed that Downward Dog or Child’s Pose wasn’t so difficult after a few weeks. More importantly, you may notice mental health benefits beyond anything you expected. Feeling better physically, achieving goals and an overall sense of peace are some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice.
You are responsible for your health. When you find something beneficial for your body and mind, it should be embraced. Yoga may be the perfect way to kickstart and continue in your quest for a healthier and happier life.