On a much older blog we talked about 3 main reasons for why you should do yoga: flexibility, balance, and breath. But beyond that, yoga has much more to offer. If you’ve never done yoga before, it’s a versatile form of exercise that can help calm, heal, soothe, and energize you.
I believe most people think that yoga is only for flexible people. While you can definitely improve your flexibility (and yeah, there are more advanced poses that definitely require flexibility), for your average person, yoga is more about flowing through a series of poses and holding them, synchronizing your breath with your movements, all while opening up and loosening your body.
Here are some other amazing benefits of yoga:
Can reduce pain/soreness
You can always adjust your yoga sessions to help with your specific needs. For example, if you have chronic pain (back, shoulder, neck, etc.,) or if you’re sore/tight from something like boxing, there are a lot of stretches and poses that can help with pain relief as well as strengthen your muscles.
Clears yours mind
There isn’t enough room here to talk about all of the great mental benefits of yoga, but as you know, in general, taking time out of your day to focus on any exercise is a great mental break and can be calming and reenergizing. But some types of yoga are meant to really focus on slowing down and relaxing, like Restorative yoga. Other types of yoga are used as meditation practices, too. Yoga is great for clearing your mind (much like meditating), and can help with stress, anxiety, migraines, etc. If you have trouble falling asleep or feel sore/tight after a tiring day, yoga is a great way to wind down before bed.
It’s a great cool-down
Speaking of winding down, doing yoga as a cooldown after a workout is amazing. If you struggle with plain old stretching and don’t have patience for it or just don’t enjoy stretching, yoga is your answer. It’s the way to relax tight muscles, calm your breath, and re-center your mind. Take note of where you’re sore or tight from the workout and do stretches aimed at stretching those muscles; for example, if your calves are tight, do downward-facing dog.
And it’s also a great warm-up
Yoga doesn’t always have to be about cooling down, loosening muscles, etc. It can also be about building muscle and providing a more intense workout, too. You can do full-body workouts or target muscle groups–for example, get an ab workout–and do a fast-paced, strength-building workout. It’s a great option for active rest days, and the bonus is that you still get a good stretch in!
Yoga is an exercise that everyone can do, no matter your age, fitness level, and fitness goals. Even though it is a physical exercise, it is also something that engages your mind. Science has shown that doing yoga consistently has great mental and physical benefits, so try to catch one of our yoga classes as soon as you can!