Feb 2013 CLAYTON HON
From a personal perspective, when us guys are looking to get fit, the last thing that may come to mind is the activity of Yoga. This is because it’s something that is much more closely associated with women, whereas men typically either hit the gym or play sports such as basketball or soccer. Well, I’m here to open everyone up to the world of Yoga and educate those who may be looking to start off the New Year in a healthier manner. Pay close attention as there is much to know about all the physical and mental health benefits that come with practicing this relaxing activity.
Flexibility. There is never a wrong time to become anything, and being flexible is certainly something not entirely determined by age. By practicing Yoga, you are able to release lactic acid which often builds up with muscle use and may find that there is an increase in the fluidity of your bodily movements. According to a study, some participants had noticed improvement in their flexibility after only eight weeks of practice!
Strength. Whether you’re looking to increase your strength or not, all forms of yoga work to improve strength and endurance. Some styles such as ashtanga and power yoga are much more intensive than styles such as lyengar or hatha which are more focused on precise alignment of the body.
Posture. A common problem most people may have to deal with is bad posture, but little do they know that your posture has a lot to do with your core (or abdominal) strength. Therefore, a stronger core allows you to sit and stand taller with the added benefit of increased body awareness.
Breathing. As yoga is an activity which emphasizes meditation, it can only be expected that it improves lung capacity. In addition to this, the deepening and lengthening of your breath stimulates a relaxation response which is something many people may lack the ability to do.
Stress Reduction. If you’re looking for a healthier way to reduce stress, then Yoga is definitely for you. In relation to improved breathing, the meditation involved in practicing Yoga helps to reduce stress and calm the mind.
Concentration. Although not proven through research, it is common to hear yoga participants speak about an improved ability to focus and concentrate.
Mood. The same can be said about mood and how most participants experience an elevated mood, feeling happier and more contented after practicing Yoga.