Yoga is an ancient Eastern practice that’s become a household word. And, there’s good reason: Yoga’s health benefits are not just for the flexible few. A wide range of people can use yoga to get fit and relax.
Targets Strength, Flexibility and Stress
Yoga involves a combination of breathing techniques and body positions. It is intended to increase relaxation and center your mind, body and spirit. Despite its long history and well-known philosophy, yoga wasn’t the subject of many Western studies in the past. During the past decade, though, research has found that yoga is a legitimate physical activity. Studies suggest it can improve your strength, flexibility and overall physical fitness. Some research also shows that it can shape up your body composition. On the health front, yoga has shown to:
Part of a Complete Fitness Plan
Yoga can help round out a regular fitness routine that includes strength training and aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking or biking. How much yoga do you need to do? Anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes a few times a week can help. There are more than 100 different styles of yoga. One of the best ways to learn yoga and find a technique you like is to take a beginner’s class. Classes will teach various poses. You’ll also learn breathing and relaxation techniques.When practiced properly, yoga is safe for most people. If you are older than 65, are pregnant, or have a disability or medical condition, talk with your doctor before taking up yoga. Your doctor can advise you on what styles or poses might be problematic.