Many celebrities like Adam Levine, Jennifer Anniston, Colin Farrell and Julia Roberts swear by the practice of yoga and have been seen carrying yoga mats under their arms on numerous occasions.
If you start yoga you will begin to feel the benefits and understand the reasons why it is so widely practiced. However with all new exercise methods – getting started is the hardest part.
So to give you a kick start, here is a breakdown of just some of the many body benefits of yoga.
While the list of benefits is truly endless, one that might give you the extra push is that yoga will perfect your posture over time. With huge emphasis placed on awareness of your muscles during class, over time you will naturally begin to sit, stand and walk taller which is something that can affect many people’s confidence.
Yoga will improve your fitness, flexibility, range of motion and balance. This in turn will begin to form the foundations of an overall healthier lifestyle. Many diets are based on the simple equation of ‘move more, eat less’ and yoga can help you do just that.
Yoga has been known to aid the management of chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and stress. With its focus on concentrated breathing and deep stretches, stress relief is a huge benefit associated with yoga. Taking a class also allows you to create more “me time” outside of the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Many forms of yoga include exploring meditation which is a mind, body and soul healer. It allows you to explore yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. This can relieve depression and slow down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger and fear in your brain.
Studies have also shown that yoga can even improve drainage of the lymph system which in turn improves immunity.
A major element of yoga is focusing on the present and emphasising mindfulness, which creates a better mental environment for individuals, especially in times of grief, stress and depression.
If any of these body benefits caught your attention, maybe now is the time to give yoga a try. Nobody expects you to turn your body inside out in the beginning. The great thing about yoga is that you can go at your own pace – you may only stretch as far as feels comfortable for you today, and maybe tomorrow you can stretch a little further.
If you really want to start the year fresh and try to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be – giving yoga a go might be your first step in doing so.
For students, I would highly recommend starting out on YouTube videos. There are a number of reasons for this. It is free once you have internet access, you can try it out in the comfort of your own home and you can pause the videos at any time if you need a break or get stuck. You can also play your favourite music in the background.
YouTube has a huge variety of videos, from beginner 20 minute starter guides to 30 day challenges. Starting out is as simple as laying a blanket on the ground and pressing play, so what are you waiting for?
Photo: Andrew Kalat/ Flickr