Yoga is considered to be one of the most popular types of mindful physical exercises. The word yoga itself translates to “union”, or “becoming one”. Proper breathing techniques, small, gentle movements and poses along with some meditation are the primary components of yoga. Consisting of several styles, yoga has become an important part of people’s daily routine. In fact, about fifteen million Americans practice yoga on a regular basis. Throughout the years, the number of those participating in yoga has drastically increased. Health clubs, gyms, and even businesses have begun to include yoga as part of their program.
Yoga is aimed at helping individuals achieve a sense of inner peace and tranquility by allowing them to be separated from the noisy and hectic outside world. Through yoga, people are given the chance to reflect on their life, often rediscovering themselves and their purpose. While some may rely on yoga for spiritual enlightenment, others practice yoga to increase their flexibility, balance, and even strength. The ultimate goal of yoga, however, is different for everybody. While someone might practice yoga to relieve stress, another might be relying on yoga as part of their daily exercise regime.
Because it is so versatile, yoga can be performed by anyone at any age. The interesting thing about yoga is that it consists of many different types, each designed to target a specific need. For example, if someone is focused on improving their flexibility and balance they might participate in what is known as Yin Yoga. On the other hand, if someone is focused on the internal aspects of yoga, such as meditation and breathing, they might participate in a form of yoga called Kundalini. Hot yoga is another form of yoga that has recently gained a lot of popularity. This type of yoga is usually performed inside a heated room and involves a pretty intense workout, followed by a lot of sweating.The wide variety of yoga type options allows for everyone to participate in some type of yoga depending on their personal preference.
Yoga plays an important role in promoting both physical and mental health. Perhaps the most notable benefit of yoga is that it can significantly lower stress and anxiety levels as well as improve overall mood. In older adults, yoga can help improve balance and flexibility, and therefore reduce the risk of falling. Furthermore, studies have shown that yoga may even aid in relieving back and joint pain.
Yoga can be especially important in alleviating symptoms of serious conditions such as epilepsy and depression. Because yoga is not primarily focused on losing weight, it helps promote positive body imaging by allowing one to become more comfortable with their body. Research has indicated that practicing yoga consistently helps improve diet and regulate weight. Another important benefit of yoga is that it can be used to lower the risk of heart disease by promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Increased drainage of lymph nodes, lowering of blood pressure, regulation of adrenal glands, and improved sleep and focus are a few more important benefits of yoga.
Yoga truly has incredible benefits and having a variety of styles to choose from makes including yoga into your routine even easier. Fortunately, you don’t have to join a yoga class to achieve these benefits. Simply grab a mat, find a comfortable spot in your house and begin practicing.