Is Yoga For Everyone?
Yoga is, by definition, a form of exercise consisting of a series of different postures and poses that are intended to increase flexibility, muscle strength, and mobility as well as enhance your overall physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. These poses range in difficulty and complexity; some of them can be quite intense, while others are more relaxed. And while some people might not feel like yoga is the right type of exercise for them, we feel that everyone should consider trying it, since the potential health benefits are well worth the effort expended.
Yoga has been shown to reduce your overall stress levels, and in doing so can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. Part of this comes from the smooth and methodical motions inherent to practicing yoga, but other factors include the deep breathing exercises that are also crucial to the process as well as the almost meditative feeling that accompanies certain poses (particularly when they are held for extended periods of time). This can also help to calm your mind and relieve stress and anxiety, making yoga a beneficial form of exercise for mental health as well as physical well-being.
Yoga is also good for exercising and strengthening all the muscles in your body, which makes it preferable to some other types of exercise that focus only on specific muscle groups) which can result in those muscle groups being over-trained and your body developing a muscle imbalance). Routine yoga practice can also help to loosen tight of tense muscles that are overworked, which can help increase your overall mobility and comfort when in motion.
Yoga has also been proven in increase balance and stability, thanks to the way that most yoga poses require the use of your core muscles as well as stabilizing muscles. Additionally, performing (and holding) certain yoga poses requires not just good balance and muscle strength, but also focus and concentration. Therefore, yoga can also help increase your ability to maintain your balance but also your overall awareness of yourself and your physical form.
Yoga has also been shown to help increase circulatory health by encouraging the flow of blood throughout all portions of your body; this healthy flow of blood is crucial to making sure your muscles and organs get the oxygen and nutrients that they need to function properly, so any increase in circulatory health is always beneficial.
Yoga can also, as mentioned, help increase your flexibility and mobility. But the benefits of this increased physical capability go farther than one might think: the more limber and athletic you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself during physical activity. Therefore, the routine practice of yoga can actually reduce your risks for injuries such as pulled and torn muscles as well as sprains and strains.
Overall, yoga has the potential to be incredibly beneficial for anyone who tries it, both physically and mentally. That being said, one session might not be enough to decide whether or not yoga is right for you; you might need to visit a yoga studio a few times to get a feel for it. Also, there are many different schools of yoga, and each one utilizes its own unique styles and poses; it might take you a few tries to find the right type of yoga for you, but we encourage you to not give up when searching for the right type of yoga for you.