Yoga is a popular activity, one that a lot of people enjoy trying because it offers a range of health and wellbeing benefits. It can be different things to different people – a form of relaxation, a form of meditation, a workout, or a tool for helping people to rehabilitate injuries or stay in shape for other sports.
There are many different forms of yoga. Some, such as Bikram, involve working out in a very warm and humid environment, and are incredibly physically challenging. Others, such as Hatha yoga are slow-paced and relaxing, and focus more on holding postures for a while and gently moving between them. There are also many different yoga programs, from doyogawithme.com online or a Yoga Burn Dvd that you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Anyone Can Do Yoga
Because there are so many different styles of yoga (some fast paced cardio workouts, some involving holding postures, some with challenging stretches, some gentle), there is a style of yoga for everyone. Anyone can get started with the practice if they can find a skilled instructor that understands what it is they are trying to do and the limitations that they face.
Some people who have injuries may struggle with certain movements, and a good instructor will notice this and will help the student to safely push their abilities, or to work around their injuries.
Yoga is a good strength workout and it is good for your flexibility. It is also a valuable form of stress relief. Yoga is not a particularly cardio-intensive workout, although some of the more fast-paced classes may provide cardiovascular benefits to those who are generally sedentary.
Yoga Works Muscles You Have Never Worked Before
Many people find that if they take out a gym membership and go lift weights, they ignore their core muscles. They work their arms, and perhaps their legs, but not the supporting muscles that are so important for general health and injury prevention.
This is why people are shocked the first time they go to a yoga class. They had no idea how intensive yoga can be, and how many muscles they don’t use on a day to day basis.
Yoga improves your proprioception, and your balance, and activates the stabilizing muscles that you might not otherwise use. It helps you to get stronger, and it helps you to become more mobile all-around.
If you play other sports, you might be at risk of overuse injuries from those sports. This affects everyone from tennis players and baseball pitchers to martial artists, cyclists and runners, and it is something that can end sporting careers early and seriously impair performance. It could be said that people who play sports are already in some sort of shape, but perhaps not in-shape enough.
Focusing on your sporting performance is useful, but it is just as important to do rehab and prehab work, and to ensure that you are not neglecting your mobility and core strength in favor of pure skill-specific training.
Recovering from Injury with Yoga
If you have suffered an injury at work or through your chosen sport then you will want to strengthen the muscles affected, break down any scar tissue, and find ways to restore your mobility. Yoga can be a valuable addition to physiotherapy and get you back into sporting shape quite quickly. You may need to modify the practice at first, but it is worth discussing your position with your instructor and doing what you can.
With patience and regular, mindful practice you can speed up your recovery, and ensure that you get back to being as strong and supple as you could possibly be.
Yoga Can Improve Your Body And Mind
Yoga is a form of meditation, and for some people the mental benefits are just as, if not more, important than the physical. Yoga helps people to de-stress, and can leave them feeling calmer, and with greater mental clarity. Modern life is quite stressful, and it is not always easy to cope with the challenges by yourself. Having a yoga coach guide you through visualization and breathing exercises can be helpful, and the social aspect of talking to people after a class is useful too.
If you’re curious about the practice, visit a few clubs and try classes, and learn about the different styles. There is one out there that you will enjoy.