Yoga has become an increasingly popular practice around the world. Outside of its great benefits for the mind, it is also a great practice to help you build and maintain fitness. Because it has both physical and mental benefits, adding yoga to your fitness routine will completely round out your healthy lifestyle.
When practicing yoga, some of the result you can expect to see are
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved athletic performance
- Protection from injury
- Feeling of relaxation
- Mental clarity and calmness
- Increased body awareness
- Centered attention
- Sharpened concentration
I could probably go on for days explaining all of the benefits of yoga. However, you don’t have to just take my word. Just check out how yoga has had a wonderful impact on the lives of these fitness devotees.
Yoga Benefits for the Mind
At just 20 years old Irene made a lifestyle change and took interest in yoga as she was looking to add more happiness to her life through health and fitness. However she didn’t know just how invested she really would become. After many years, Irene found so many interesting benefits of yoga and would even go on to become a yoga instructor. She experienced improvements in her mood and even relief from depression and anxiety. “ Eventually yoga became a mirror in which I could see and observe myself. It allowed me to take a closer look at my thoughts and habits that had held me back for years,” Irene says.
“I realized that yoga was so much more than moving my body into different shapes, it was a journey to self-realization.” – Irene Pappas”
Yara has had a wonderfully freeing experience with adding yoga to her life. It has sparked the inner child and wonder in her. More importantly her experience with yoga, provoked the thought of a great business venture called Scoria World “ I aimed to promote health and wellness not just in terms of fitness performance but also in terms of connecting with the mind and mental health. The childlike sketches are inspired by the stories and drawings my art students would create expressing their hopes, dreams and their ‘pretend’ world,” Yara expresses. For Yara, yoga is much more than just physical, it is a mean of enhancing creativity which she feels is important to your overall health and wellbeing. Yoga has also been beneficial to adding organization and structure to Yara’s life, helping her to think more logically.
“Even by putting some time in creative transitions in yoga or new ways of stretching can help keep practice playful and inspiring. It becomes easier to commit to a fitness practice when it’s truly fun.” -Yara Kamal
Yoga Benefits for the Body
Dean was in for a pleasant surprise after trying yoga, as he was very skeptical of the practice at first. “I had always been interested, but had never taken a yoga class before that day. Two hours later, drenched in sweat from head to toe, feeling like I had just exited the pool, and utterly exhausted……. I had just completed my first yoga class. From that point on, I was sold,” Dean says. And this is coming from a former lacrosse player!
His excitement for yoga sparked him and his business partner to create a yoga philosophy of their own focusing more so on yoga and its physical benefits especially for men. In their classes you would learn just how every movement affects the body and more importantly you’ll see some amazing results.
“Most forms of fitness emphasize strength and faster movements. Yoga actually slows you down so you can work on the other stuff and pay attention to what you’re doing, instead of rushing through the movement.” -Dean Pohlman
Marie has always been an active person. I mean she has played just about every sport you can think of. However, she attributes one of the best decisions she ever made to starting yoga. Adding yoga to her fitness regimen helped her improve on so many levels. “Yoga will make you better at whatever it is you are already doing. It’s a practice of constantly observing and working on your edges. If you need to get stronger, yoga will get you there. If you need to be more flexible, yoga will definitely help,” Marie says. And yoga has done just that for her , not to mention the mental improvements she has experienced as well. “Some people define yoga as union; yoking; the bringing together of body and mind. This is a useful definition at first. However, now I would define it as the realization that there was never any separation to begin with,” Marie explains.
“I dove head first into yoga 11 years ago and haven’t looked back. Since bringing yoga into my life, everything has expanded: my mind, my work, my travels, my body, my friendships, my idea of community.” -Marie Bell