Often times, when people hear the word “yoga” images of thin human-pretzels contorted in all kinds of unnatural positions calmly chanting “namaste” in dimly lit and VERY warm studios come to mind. For those who do not associate anything pleasurable what so ever with this particular image, the simple thought of sitting through a yoga class may seem like a MAJOR turn off. Current research, however, suggests that those yoga junkies or “yogis” you’re thinking about may actually be on to a major key to improving health and overall well-being. BUT it is important to note that this stereotype of yoga, like all exercise, is often wrong. A great yoga class and instructor can provide modifications for all abilities and levels- even to yoga newbies. AND the term “Namaste” put in simpler terms means, the spirit in me is respecting the spirit in you. Who couldn’t use some more positivity in life anyway???
According to the Yoga Journal, yoga is an extremely effective means to increase overall flexibility, and if you are someone who constantly suffers from nagging aches and pains due to your daily physical demands, this could really provide some much needed relief. In fact, this source suggests that beginners who stated practicing yoga and/or stretching a mere 2 to 3 times per week began noticing changes in their flexibility in just a matter of weeks.
Yoga also has many other positive effects on an individual physically. Various positions held in yoga require an individual to support their own body weight for extended period of time which assists greatly in building overall muscular strength/endurance which helps protect the body from issues such as arthritis and chronic low back pain.
We offer a weekly yoga class too! Sign up for a FREE WEEK Membership HERE to get access to 7 days of Unlimited Boot Camp classes including yoga!
The calm, quiet, and tranquil environment of a yoga class also aids to lower your blood pressure and stress levels, as the focus and meditation required to execute each pose precisely helps to relax your body systems and give them a chance to slow down as you unwind. So this can be a great way to unwind from a stressful work week! The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) notes the importance of practicing yoga due to these mental benefits. Yoga class provides a calming effect on the body that helps to inadvertently teach the body new mechanisms of stress management which often translates over into the rest of our lives. One expert from the AOA noted, “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.”
Aside from all of the fancy research and information thrown at you in the blog post you now find yourself reading, the main take home message from all of this is that life is stressful and sometimes we need someone or something to make us press pause and step away from it all, if only for a moment. Or we’ve had a great week of boot camps or personal training and could use some time to help the body recover from the strenuous strength training and cardio exercises we have performed. And since most of us can’t just run away to Fiji for 3 months to relax, we must find another option we can do! So today I challenge you to open up your mind, rethink your preconceived notions about practicing yoga, and just give it a try— you have absolutely nothing to lose except a little bit of time and a WHOLE lot of stress and muscle tension.
For more information on other benefits of yoga and its effects on some more serious health conditions such as diabetes, depression, and even menopause please visit: yoga health foundation.org. Also, please come join us Sunday mornings at 10am at Edge Body Boot Camp for our very own yoga class free to all members. That’s all for now on this Tip from the Trainer, namaste all my future yoga attendees 🙂