If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've recently added Yoga to my workout routine which consists of:
- running 4k/week
- weight training 2x/week
(I had to quit ballet due to an ongoing neck/spine pain. When you can't function your neck to it's maximum, pirouetting is not the greatest!)
I decided to replace my ballet void with yoga and I feel wonderful. I notice a huge change in my body, my flexibility, and my lifestyle all together. I'm much more relaxed and less stressed.
Here are 10 reasons why you should take up yoga if you're not already:
1. The long deep breathing also known as "Breath of Fire", oxygenates and purifies the bloodstream thus helping the body detoxify itself, stimulates energy flows in the body, builds lung capacity and helps purify the respiratory system, synchronizes your entire system under one rhythm promoting greater internal harmony and health, and it balances and strengthens the nervous system.
2. It's a great stress reliever. Just a few minutes of yoga a day can get rid of daily accumulated stress and anxiety in both mind and body.
3. Improves fitness. By practicing yoga regularly, it'll ameliorate your balance, flexibility, range of motion, and strength. It stretches and tones the muscles, making them strong. It improves your posture when you stand, walk, and sleep. The deep stretching lengthens sore, achy and tired muscles.
4. It's the number one exercise to boost your sexual drive. The yoga breathes and postures create body awareness. The more in-tune you are with your body, the more confident you'll feel about your ability to please. It clears your mind for a deeper understanding of you and your partners needs and desires. Studies say that it revs up your libido. I also don't need to tell you the creative positions you can achieve by being more flexible :) It increases blood flow to your pelvis which heightens sensitivity and increases desire. It strengthens the muscles around the woman's pelvis which makes for stronger contractions and more intense orgasms.
You should be sold on number 4 alone but I'll go on.
5. Weight reduction. Yoga practices that reduce anxiety tend to reduce the anxious eating. In addition, yoga deep breathing increases the oxygen intake to the body cells, including the fat cells. This causes increased oxidation or burning up of fat cells. Yogic exercises induce more continuous and deeper breathing which gradually burns, sometimes forcefully, many of the calories already ingested. Aside from burning calories and strengthening your muscles, yoga also helps you focus on having mind and body awareness. When you bring your attention inward, you may notice a shift in your perspective about how you treat your body and what you put into it as fuel. Doing yoga regularly can inspire you to take care of yourself as you become more aware of your physical and mental states.
6. Better sleep. Researchers found that doing a 45 minutes yoga practice before sleep helps many people relax and unwind. Ditch being a couch potato and opt for yoga instead! It is a known that lack of sleep, and disrupted sleep, is also associated with obesity. Extensive research shows under-sleeping is linked to weight gain and the diseases associated with obesity.
7. A sunnier outlook on life. There really is something to the "happy yogi." Studies show that doing one hour of asanas (a sequence of standing, sitting and balancing poses) helped avid posers raise their levels of the brain chemical GABA (low levels are linked with depression) by 27 percent compared with a group who read quietly.
8. Boosts your confidence. Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your body and over time leads to greater self-confidence.
9. Better skin. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “yoga glow”? Ever wonder if this is a popular myth or if there’s any truth to such a claim? The benefits of yoga for the skin are documented in Hinduism’s ancient history. Let’s deconstruct the key elements: breath, movement, sweating and blood flow. Yoga students take deep full rhythmic cleansing breathes or pranayama. This oxygenates the blood flowing to our face and skin. Oxygen fights free radicals and increases cell renewal. Inversions in particular can flush nutrients into the face and even stimulate the master glands of our endocrine system. Sweating in challenging asana sequences can purify the body removing toxins and release natural oils that help maintain the skin’s elasticity. Remember the calm face of a Buddha head statue? It seems that he was always glowing. Yoga can also eliminate stress; it’s ideal for anyone who works long hectic hours. When we are one with our breath, engaging in a yogic meditative flow we can detach from our mind accessing inner peace….and then we glow.
10. Better relationships. Yoga can even help improve your relationship with your spouse, parents, friends or loved ones! A mind that is relaxed, happy and contented is better able to deal with sensitive relationship matters. Yoga and meditation work on keeping the mind happy and peaceful; benefit from the strengthened special bond you share with people close to you.
Yoga doesn't take time, it gives time! So come-on people, everyone can do it. Get off your asses and Namaste!
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