Fitness Friday's: Yoga!!

Aloha Friday!!

This week's Fitness Friday's topic is Yoga!!  We all have either done Yoga, do Yoga, heard about it or LOVE it!  I am going to discuss the AWESOME benefits of adding Yoga into your exercise routine:)!



First, a little history on Yoga:

Although Yoga seems new is has been practiced for over 5,000 years!  If something has been around for that long there must be something GREAT about it, huh?!?  More than just stretches and strength building the traditional purpose of Yoga has been to bring about a profound transformation in the person through the transcendence of the ego.  It is known that Yoga originated in the East and there have been signs or Yoga in ancient Shamanism.  There has been evidence of Yoga Postures that were found on artifacts that date back to the 3000 B.C.

Focus of Yoga:

Yoga originally focused on applying and understanding the world.  Yoga is now self-enlightenment, relaxation, strengthening and much more.

Yoga Now:

Yoga classes now more focus on learning physical poses called asanas.  They also focus on breathing and strengthening in certain poses.

Now to the benefits!!:

Flexibility:

A lot of people are a bit intimidated by Yoga because they think of people sitting around with both legs around theirs heads.  Not all Yoga classes are like that!  Yoga is great for people of all ages, sizes and genders (considering you have consulted with a doctor is you have any previous injuries or issues that could cause complication) and you are never too anything to start working on your flexibility:).  Doing any series of Yoga poses provided during class will not only stretch your muscles but also all of the soft tissues of your body (ligaments, tendons and fascia sheath that surrounds muscles) which is why it feels soooooo good!  You will most likely start to see benefits within a short amount of time no matter what level you are at!

Strength:

There are many different styles of Yoga but no matter which one you go to you will be strengthening!  Many of the poses done in Yoga build your upper body strength which is crucial as we get older.  The standing poses are usually held a bit longer and through a couple breaths and strengthen your abdominals, quads and hamstrings.  The poses that strengthen the lower back include upper ward dog and the chair pose.  Adding Yoga into your exercise routine will ensure your strengthen while receiving much more benefits at the same time!

Better your Posture:

Posture, posture, posture!  Why do we need good posture?  Good posture helps in so many ways and with good posture you will go through your daily tasks a lot easier:).  When you increase your flexibility and strength along will come the better posture.  With a stronger core, you are more likely to sit and stand taller.  Most standing and sitting poses help with developing your core strength.  remember, ENGAGE YOUR CORE!

Bye Bye Stress!!:

If you are someone that runs into stress on a daily or even hourly basis you really want to consider adding Yoga into your exercise routine!  I myself run into stress all the time and use all types of exercise formats to release the stress but Yoga results in a different more calming feeling afterwards.  Most Yoga classes focus on breathing and focusing on the breathe and nothing else.  Doing that makes you forget about the cause of stress and anything else bad that happened that day.  When I do Yoga, I leave feeling awesome and a thousand times better.  I think everyone else would rather me have my Yoga for that purpose lol!

Concentration and Mood:

This is another benefit that comes along easily when adding Yoga into your exercise routine.  Because when doing any Yoga poses you are practicing the art of concentration when trying to concentrate on the poses you are doing and holding them as well as concentrating on your breathe.  Unconsciously, you are practicing concentration which therefore naturally comes into action in everyday life.  Reeking all the benefits of Yoga, your mood will definitely change for the better.

SAFETY:

Yoga is great for everyone but there are a couple of things you should be careful of going into a Yoga class:


  1. 1. If you are pregnant or have an existing health condition consult your physician before starting any type of Yoga class.  They will no what's best for you and can tell you what type may be better to start off with.
  2. If you are new to Yoga, go to a class instead of trying to learn it yourself.  The instructor will help you learn the Yoga poses correctly so you do not end up hurting yourself.
  3. Know your limits and listen to your body.  If a certain pose is giving you the wrong pain do not do it.  There will more likely be some modifications to each move depending on the move.  Your instructor will understand.
  4. Take it easy and go slow with trying to learn Yoga.  Give your body the time to get used to doing this especially if you are someone that never stretches or does anything close to Yoga.  You may take a while to get the poses down but please take that time and do not rush it.
  5. Make sure to warm up properly before doing Yoga because having cold muscles will increase your chance of injury.
  6. Where comfy and stretchy clothing that allows you to move easily.
  7. Stay hydrated.  Like other exercise formats, you will need to stay hydrated throughout the class.
  8. Ask questions if you have any.  Your instructor should not ind questions and should be more than happy to answer them for you.


As you can see there are A LOT of benefits and I didn't even go over all of them!  If you have not added Yoga into your exercise yet please at least give it a try for more than one class and take note on how you start to feel after about a couple of weeks of doing it.  You will start to feel great and you will see that the benefits explained above will come along pretty fast if you stick to it:)!

Stay your weekend with a Yoga class to help forget the stress of the week and get you ready for relaxation!
Posted on August 3, 2012 .