6 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Mental and Physical Health
By: Kaitlin Boggs
Yoga is a type of fitness that can be performed by all levels, all ages, and all personalities. What is so great about yoga is that there is a type of practice for everyone, it’s a one “om” fits all type of exercise. There’s the type of yoga classes that are more meditative such as a restorative yoga, and then there are power yoga classes for the cardio junkies who like to flow to fast paced music and get their heart rates up. Whether you like Bikram, or Vinyasa, there is no denying the amazing physical and mental benefits you get from any type of practice. Here are 6 ways yoga improves your overall health and wellbeing.
6 Ways Yoga Improves Your Body and Mind:
- Yoga relieves stress. The yoga studio is a sacred space. The moment you enter class the instructor prompts you to leave whatever happened and whatever will happen in your day behind you for one hour. It’s a time to clear your mind and focus on the yoga poses, rather than your demanding to-do list.
- Yoga helps you relax. Yoga studios are generally dark, warm environments. This type of space is very comforting for the body. You’ll notice your jaw becomes looser, your shoulders become lower, and your heart rate decreases the moment you lay down on the mat. This type of “recharge” is necessary for anyone and everyone who works and lives in our chaotic world.
- Yoga alleviates anxiety and anger. From parking tickets to dating problems, there’s a lot to be anxious and frustrated with in life. Once you’ve practiced yoga for more than a class or two, you’ll find it easier to find calm through your breath and deal with these situations rationally. Yoga teaches you to use your breath, a deep inhale and a deep exhale, to alleviate frustrations. It may sound cheesy, but it’s amazing how we actually forget to breathe throughout our busy days.
- Yoga gives you abs. Most all yoga poses start from the core. Without engaging your core, even your warrior one pose will suffer. From constant core engagement and the bit of ab specific exercises most instructors include in class, you will be seeing abdominal definition after only a few classes!
- Yoga makes you stronger. Though most standard yoga classes do not include weights, yoga requires a significant amount of upper body strength in order to flow through a vinyasa, basically a pushup. You’d be surprised how sore your triceps, biceps, and shoulders will be from a basic yoga class. Yoga is a full body-toning workout from just your own bodyweight.
- Yoga helps you create healthy eating habits. Once you start practicing yoga regularly, you’ll find that certain foods help enhance your performance in the studio. Most instructors recommend a diet of lean protein, lots of antioxidant rich veggies, and healthy fats with Omega-3’s, to improve mental clarity and strength in class. Also, these foods will help define those yogi abs you work so hard for.
The team at Airelle encourages their customers, employees, and physicians to give yoga a try! Airelle’s goal is to help all individuals become their most beautiful self inside and out. This blog was written from the perspective of Airelle’s favorite “yogi”, Kaitlin, who is in on the marketing team. Here is a little excerpt from Kaitlin about why she loves yoga:
“I began my own personal yoga practice over four years ago. To this day I am still amazed how much I learn and grow from my daily practice. I have become stronger in my physical body, never before could I do pushups and pull ups, but more importantly I have overcome depression and anxiety through mindfulness. Yoga is a journey from the self to the self. It has taught me perspective and that there is always something to be grateful for. My favorite yogi quote: ‘Find beauty and balance in your imperfections’. I currently practice 5-6 times a week at CorePower Yoga studios.”