Research and literature will show the numerous benefits that can be derived from yoga practice. In yoga, you learn how to breathe properly, thus increasing your lung capacity. Organs and glands are stimulated in various postures thus enabling fresh, oxygenated blood to flow into and nourish them. Muscles are toned through isometric movements thus enabling you to develop a lean and well-defined body. The spine is lengthened, compressed, twisted through various postures thus assuring you of a strong, healthy and straight spine in your old age. The health of your spine is very important as this has a strong impact on quality of life. No amount of money can buy you a healthy spine. Only yoga can give you that!
Most sports and exercise programs only focus on muscles. Yoga focuses on your muscles, joints, organs and glands and most importantly, your breath. It is the control of your breath that will allow you to remain calm in the most stressful situation. Problems with your job? Your boss? Your family? Learn to breathe through it all. Only yoga will teach you that!
If you are physically active and engage in exercise or sports, yoga is the perfect cross training activity. In addition, yoga postures are therapeutic and provide a way to heal you from injuries related to sports or accidents. Knee problems from running, basketball, soccer or badminton? Tennis, badminton or gofer’s elbow? Shoulder and back pain from golf? Certain yoga postures will help strengthen the muscles around the joint to heal and prevent injuries and heal scar tissue.
Aside from physical benefits, yoga also develops your focus and concentration. If you love sports, your ability to focus under pressure can spell the difference in making that crucial shot at crunch time. It is difficult to imagine how keeping still in a particular yoga pose can help you in your game but it does. Famous athletes like Kobe Bryant and David Beckham, several NBA teams incorporate yoga into their training routines and reaped the benefits that it brings. If you are serious about your sport and want to continue to play it even when you’re old, it’s time to start practicing yoga.
Vinyasa flow classes are also available. Vinyasa classes are “breath based”. This means that there is a movement associated with each inhale and exhale. Each class is different and the instructor determines which combination of postures will be done for each class. Vinyasa postures also offer modifications depending on the student’s level. These classes are more rhythmic, just like dance, and ideal for students who want to try something new in each class.
You can try classes regardless of your level of flexibility. Most people think that you can only do yoga if you’re flexible. In fact, the opposite is true. If you do not have flexibility, then you need to practice yoga to be able to gain back the flexibility that you were born with. Everyone is born with a lot of flexibility in their joints and spine. Poor posture, bad diet, lack of exercise make us lose this flexibility. The good news is a consistent yoga practice can bring it back.