The wellness of our mind and body has become a bigger topic of conversation than just how to be thin and fit. With that mindset, we are looking more at whether we are putting healthy foods into our body instead of low calorie ones, whether we are taking enough time to de-stress instead of how to pack the most into our day, and whether we are emotionally and mentally healthy instead of just physically. Yoga is an easy way to keep us at our best selves for more reasons than you may think.
It does more than work your body.
If you are turning to yoga as a workout routine, you may not see the weight-loss results you want as immediately as you might when you hit the gym a few times a week. However, yoga is more than just a workout and can be even more efficient than a typical day at the gym because it works out your whole body at once. With yoga, you don’t have to devote days to arms, legs, etc. You are working out everything at once, providing a more efficient fitness routine. It also takes the focus off of your physical appearance, which can be a stressful part of your gym workout, and helps us with our digestive system, our circulatory system, and our mental process, among many other things. Yoga focuses on holding poses for short bursts of time, where we can meditate on the position of our body and not be distracted by the stresses of everyday life.
It will make you lean, not bulky.
Yoga is more of a workout than some may think, but you’re not just strengthening your muscles – you’re stretching them as well. If you’re turned off by the idea of a bulky, muscular appearance but still want to be strong and healthy, yoga will provide that extra component that will keep you from looking like a bodybuilder, unless that’s the look you are after.
It can be done anywhere.
One of the best parts about yoga is that it can be done anywhere at any time, no equipment necessary. If you have a yoga mat, that’s great, but it’s not even necessary. You can invest in blocks, straps, cute yoga clothes, but yoga uses the weight of your body as the “weights” in this workout, so you never have an excuse not to squeeze in a workout during your day. Save money on a gym membership or on expensive home gym equipment and invest in a yoga class once in a while to learn new techniques and get motivated in a group setting. Whether you make six figures or minimum wage, live in an expensive flat in New York City, a quaint home in Charleston, or a cabin in the woods of Colorado, you have the ability to engage in the practice of yoga.
It does not discriminate.
Yoga can be done by anyone – adults, children, the elderly, disabled, and pregnant alike. Many yoga teachers will present options in class for those with different levels of skill, but there are many basic positions that just about anyone is capable of. The gym can be a frightening place for people with disabilities and is usually off-limits to children, but simple, gentle yoga poses are easy for anyone to do.
It is injury-free.
Yoga is more gentle on the body than a gym workout, so injury is almost impossible if you don’t push yourself too hard. Done correctly, you will be warming up your muscles slowly as you go through the poses and it would be extremely difficult to pull a muscle. It is not about working your hardest, it’s about feeling the flow of movement and focusing your mind on pure relaxation.