Navigating your way in the world of fitness can be difficult. The industry is constantly recommending different exercise routines and tricks that are supposed to make you healthier and fitter.
But when it comes to an exercise program that has actual proven benefits, and has endured the test of time, yoga is among the best. So, what is yoga? What are the health benefits of this age-old exercise routine, and how can you get started?
What is yoga all about?
Yoga is not just an exercise method to boost your physique, but it’s a mind-body workout routine with plenty of benefits. The word “yoga” means “connection” or “union.” It’s thought to have been around for over 5,000 years, with some suggesting it dates back 10,000 years.
Actually, yoga on its own doesn’t mean that much. This is because there are over 100 different ways of doing yoga. The huge amount of styles provides users with many options, from fast-paced and intense to more gentle forms of doing yoga. Therefore, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, there are options out there for you to try.
Some of the different styles include:
- Hatha Yoga, which is the most common form. It uses different movements together with breathing exercises.
- Asthanga Yoga is another popular style. Similar to hatha, it combines breathing with poses, with the style a bit more difficult to hatha.
- Bikram Yoga is also called the “hot yoga,” as it’s performed in a heated room.
- Iyangar Yoga utilizes different everyday objects, such as straps and chairs, to move the body into different positions.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
As mentioned above, yoga is a full mind-body exercise routine. It can help you gain more strength and flexibility, but also to relax and ease tension and stress. Depending on the style of yoga you are doing, you will notice improved strength in your core, arms, and legs.
Not only will you improve your strength, you’ll also improve your flexibility. In addition, yoga can boost your stamina and balance. If you suffer from chronic pain, such as back pain, then yoga can be a lifesaver.
Yoga is also good exercise for anyone who has had problems with their cardiovascular health. Yoga can boost blood flow and reduce arterial plaque. In a study of patients with heart failure, yoga was not only able to improve their heart health, but also boosted the quality of life.
The reduction in inflammation and improved blood flow can also help people who suffer from arthritis. Studies have shown Iyangar Yoga to be especially helpful for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and you should consider trying out Bikram Yoga as well.
The emotional health boosts are also impressive. Research done at the Duke University Medical Center found the exercise routine to be helpful for people with depression, sleep problems, and even schizophrenia. Much of this results from yoga releasing serotonin, which has been dubbed “the happiness hormone.”
Interestingly, yoga has been found to enhance fertility as well. It comes down to its ability to lower stress, something that can play a role in determining fertility. But scientists also believe it comes down to improved blood flow in areas of reproduction. So, if you are trying to start a family, yoga might be a great idea.
Overall, yoga can be a huge boost to your immunity levels, resulting in a healthier and happier you. In a study conducted in Norway, scientists found the exercise to impact genes at a cellular level, boosting the body’s defenses.
How to get started?
One of the best things about yoga, apart from the above benefits, is how easy it is to get started. You essentially need a yoga mat and some loose clothing. You can find amazing discount coupons on must-have yoga accessories at OZCodes, as these will help you avoid extra expenses.
When you are starting out, you don’t need anything other than the mat. Depending on your specific yoga style, you might want to purchase further equipment, such as yoga balls and straps.
You can look up local yoga classes from the FindYoga website. Courses can vary in cost, but on average, the classes won’t be anything too expensive. You should also check if you could try it out for a lesson to ensure the specific style suits you.
But you can also browse online videos if you don’t want to attend a course. The main thing is to pay attention to the movement, and do a bit of research before you get started.
Yoga is a fantastic exercise method to add to your life. It offers a number of options for different personalities and physiques. Starting out is not hard, and you can practice yoga nearly anywhere! On top of that, yoga’s health benefits are scientifically proven, and the list of health improvements is extremely convincing.