The benefits of yoga!
Its been around for many years and we don’t believe that it will be going anywhere any time soon because yoga is one of the worlds most popular forms of exercise.
Yoga is not for everybody though. We have found that yoga is a lot more popular in western countries than it is here, however, many people say that once you start doing yoga you probably won’t stop ever. Yoga is an exercise that you can do for the rest of your life. You won’t typically see an 80-year-old lady lifting weights or doing jump squats. You would typically see them do yoga exercises, and with good reason.
There is often a misconception around this form of exercise in that it is boring, it doesn’t really do much or that it is only for old people. This is simply not true. Some of the worlds fittest celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey and even Iron Man himself absolutely swear by yoga. In fact, did you know that Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, a yoga-devotee has a backstage room for every concert he performs with a sign that reads “yoga” where he spends 30-minutes indulging in some yoga before going on stage? He believes that yoga anchors him and frees his mind and body from clutter.
We are here to bust this myth even further by highlighting some of the benefits of yoga.
Listen, we have been around in this business for long enough to know that this benefit right here is one of the main reasons why you choose not to do yoga. We would like to reassure you that yoga doesn’t have to mean breaking your spine to do a crab stand. As with everything else, “baby steps” should be taken when doing yoga for the first time. Yoga drastically increases flexibility in men and women which ultimately leads to stronger muscles. Don’t even get us started on how non-flexible most of the men at Fitness Fables are at the moment. Which is why we encourage everyone to do some yoga after an exercise to stretch out those muscles and get your flexibility where it needs to be.
Contrary to popular belief, yoga is actually a great way to tone up and strengthen your muscles. It takes a lot of strength to hold yourself in a balanced position or yoga pose. Yoga poses will typically strengthen your core, arms, upper back and legs. Here is the great news, although it improves your muscle strength it is considered to be a “low-impact” exercise and won’t have any impact or add strain to your joints at all. Yoga also forces you to strengthen certain muscles that you have never used before, giving yourself a full-body workout like nothing else.
For over 5000 years, yoga has been considered by many as the oldest defined practice of self-development and self-love as we popularly refer to it today. The methods of yoga include meditation, physical postures, ethical disciplines and breathing control. This was traditionally practiced in the East but has since become very popular among western countries. Studies have shown that even a small 15-minute yoga break from work, can reduce stress drastically and improve concentration and productivity. South Africans are used to living a fast-paced and stress-filled life and we believe that by adopting the practices of yoga, can change many lives for the better.
As we have established, yoga has mental benefits as much as physical. As a result of the calming effect yoga has on individuals, we can conclude that it will also help improve your quality of sleep. Regular yoga practice improves calmness, mental clarity, body awareness, concentration, relaxation and also relieves chronic stress patterns. Due to the fact that yoga clears your mind and reduces racing thoughts, you will be able to sleep much better and deeper at night.
Yoga is not considered cardio exercise. Cardio exercises are known for helping us lose weight rapidly, however, yoga is an exercise form not to be overlooked. Active and intense yoga styles help you burn the most calories which allow us to lose weight. Yoga is also believed to speed up our metabolism. Yoga is not the ultimate when it comes to weight loss, however, combining yoga with HIIT workouts, will definitely get you into the best shape of your life!
The drawbacks of yoga
Yoga centres the body, mind and spirit, however, it is not for everyone. Some of our clients have often reported that they struggle with yoga as it requires a time commitment. Yoga has amazing benefits if done consistently. Another drawback is that some individuals have physical limitations. Even something as trivial as having an office job where you sit on a chair all day, can limit you from doing certain yoga poses at it shortens some of the muscles needed. Aside from that, there is always the occasional knee injury or lower back pain that prevents some individuals to try yoga. The last drawback is a popular one among the guys. Some people feel self-conscious when doing yoga. We get it, there are many awkward poses involved and some of them are just way to complex to try out. Luckily our team at Fitness Fables will be able to assist you in the right yoga-poses for you.
So don’t let that downward facing dog pose scare you. We are about to drop a big corny quote bomb on you and say “The only real failure, is failing to try”. You will never know the benefits yoga holds for you unless you give it a go. Ask one of our trainers to assist you with some yoga poses that you can combine your HIIT or cardio workout with, even if it means doing it at home. You will be amazed at the impact yoga will have on you.