Sceptics might ponder whether or not Yoga really is the type of exercise that provides everything your body needs to function optimally? Here is a peek at some reasons why many answer with a resounding “YES” to the aforementioned question.
Yoga is efficient: Why waste the precious commodity of time working each body part separately when you can easily connect all of the dots in one go with yoga? Practically everything you do in yoga engages your core, not only in core centric poses (like Plank), but simply the act of moving from pose to pose with body awareness necessitates use of the core muscles to stabilize your body. You would have to push a significant amount of weights to make your arms as strong as you can get them by simply learning to hold your own body weight (try Crow for size). Asanas (poses) which involve inversions and arm balances, allow you to raise your heartbeat, while simultaneously lengthening and building muscle strength – how’s that for efficiency?
Yoga can double as a cardio workout: Make your practise FLOW! Try some Sun Salutations or string together a bunch of poses to form a flowing sequence at a steady pace – remembering to sync your breath with your movement for optimal effect – see what this does to your heart rate😉
Yoga is non-competitive: Tired of the stress that daily life already brings with competition hiding in every nook and cranny (especially within the work environment)? Then Yoga is definitely for you. The practice of yoga is centred around what is happening on your own mat – no concern should be given to what your neighbour is doing. The only person you are “competing” against is yourself in terms of improving your skills and enjoyment of the practice.
Yoga saves money: You don’t need any fancy equipment or clothing. Stripped down to the bare essentials, all you really need is yourself, comfortable clothing (that allows for movement), and a mat (if you don’t have a mat then a towel or carpet can work).
Yoga can help you lose weight: Practising yoga will begin to change your mind, with respect to the way you approach life, your body, health and eating. Yoga allows you to really appreciate your body for the amazing creation that it is and the marvellous things that it can do for you if treated with respect and fuelled nutritiously. In the long term changing your mind about your body and the foods you fuel it with, will be a much more effective weight-loss tool than having to “burn” excess calories due to mindless eating.
Yoga can prevent injuries: In yoga, the focus is on learning to unite your body and mind. In doing so you begin paying more attention to the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) cues and feedback that your body is constantly feeding back to you. While a certain amount of discomfort may have to be worked through to advance and challenge yourself, pain is a warning that you are overstepping your body’s current limits – this is your signal to pull back. After all, should your goal not be for a better, injury-free, strong and healthy you?
Yoga provides endless variety: No twoYoga sessions need be the same – just like your body and life, it can be different every single day. Listen to your body! When you need a challenge, throw in some arm balances and inversions. When you need to focus, fall back on balancing poses sequentially on the same side. When you need to unwind, why not try forward folds, back bends, stretches, mediation or even just quiet contemplation?
Yoga can be done anywhere: You never even have to leave home to feel the benefits! With no equipment necessary, it doesn’t really matter where you are, all you have to do is make the time – so whether you are at home, the office, or travelling just clear your schedule for some ME time.
Yoga can be the catalyst that brings about great change in your physical and mental life. Use Yoga as a wonderful compliment to any other sporting discipline, or simply as motivation to get yourself moving and more in touch with yourself!
That’s it for now – see you all for playtime on the mat😉
Till next time – Keep it Light😘