Yoga is not just about exercise or breathing techniques – it is also about encouraging and achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Yoga helps people to relieve stress by learning to unclutter one’s mind, thereby allowing individuals to become more focused. Yoga’s deep breathing and meditation also helps individuals achieve peace and tranquillity in a world that is consumed by stress and chaos.
In today’s world everybody faces many types of stress, including the daily environmental stress that impacts our minds and bodies.
Environmental stress is the stresses in our daily lives, such as stress at home and work: about meeting targets, stress from management or other colleagues or stress from being unemployed. It is also university with its assignment deadlines, maintaining all of your reading and the stress that occurs should you fall behind due to a range of other stressful factors in your life.
Environmental stress also includes the standards you set for yourself based on the factors that surround you such as fashion, weight management, material products and attending events or outings just because you feel you have to.
Eventually the world will catch up and everyone will realise that this constant level of stress is not good for anybody. Until then, yoga is a great practice to integrate into ones daily life as a way of refocusing and managing the stresses of daily life.
In dealing with life’s stresses yoga has many proven benefits, with studies showing that people who regularly practice yoga gain improvements in reaction time and coordination, as well as memory, which has led to achieving higher results in tests.
In the fitness and health world instant gratification and lasting transformations are extremely important and yoga provides both in bounds. Yoga can help change both your mind and body with regular practice.
Yoga focuses on strengthening your muscles whilst maintaining and extending your flexibility. The postures and movements that you practice in yoga strengthen your body from the inside out so that you just don’t look good but you feel it too.
Some may say that yoga is not for everyone – you have to be fit, or a girl, or flexible – but yoga is for anyone. A large majority of leading yoga experts are men, with celebrities and elite sportsmen and women publically announcing their dedication to yoga. It is even being used by the military to help relieve post-traumatic stress.
If you are wanting to give it a try or looking for a new place to practice, many yoga studios, local gyms and park fitness groups have classes that are open to everyone no matter age, gender or fitness level. Yoga classes and those that practice it generally tend to have an open door policy, so don’t be afraid of the niche groups that tend to accompany other sports: yoga is open to everyone.
One of the great things about yoga is that there are many ways to practice it and you can tailor it to your lifestyle. Some variations include power yoga, relaxation yoga and hot yoga. You can practice at home by yourself, with a DVD or at set classes. There is a huge variety of ways to practice depending on what you wish to gain from it.
If you are just after a way to relax or to take your fitness to the next level, yoga’s beneficial effects on your body cannot be denied, so why not give it a try.