For years yoga has been revered for its ability to calm the mind, increase the body’s flexibility and help the individual find a center. It has also been credited with health benefits. For those that think the practice is simply about “crazy” poses, breathing and a rule full of “Om” chanters, you may consider that yoga can actually alleviate ailments and increase overall health.
Yoga brings together the mind and body. Through deep breathing and exercises, often times challenging, the body learns to relax, deal with stress and anxiety. Depending on what you are looking to get out of your practice, you can choose to lead a full throttle “yoga lifestyle” which includes a certain diet (often vegetarian or vegan) and meditation or you can choose to practice different styles of yoga.
Perhaps you just need stress management for an often hectic life? Less challenging yoga styles such as Hatha, stress relief yoga or Yin yoga will help with this. These styles are not so aggressive and they focus on breathing (which in yoga represents your energy) and perfecting certain stress relieving postures (poses to increase flexibility and strength).
Let’s face it, we live in a very stressful day and age. Smartphones, laptops, business meetings, family vacations, bills (insert stress-inducing life activity here) run our lives and often times we have nowhere to unload that energy. Having an outlet to put stress into while benefiting your body can work wonders. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, yoga can reduce stress “by drawing the focus away from your day and toward calm.” If you think about it, it’s actually pretty simple. Your mind is allowed to take a break from the deadlines, timelines and “have-tos” of the day. It is a time to focus on you and center in on bringing together the body and mind to increase flexibility and strength. Who knows? You could be less stressed and in better shape at the end of all this and that’s a true double threat.