Yoga: How it can improve your life.

There are many different branches of yoga, all of which have different benefits depending on what your using the exercise for. Whether it be stretching your limbs after a more aggressive workout session or using it for its meditative purposes, yoga can enhance your posture, flexibility and body awareness while having a positive impact on sleep and stress levels.

Often we take for granted the work that we’ve put into our bodies; years of sitting properly or standing tall don’t seem like they would impact the body, but studies have shown that good posture not only positively affects your body, but your mental health as well. Posture may not seem like an important focus for fitness, but as we age our spinal vertebrae collapse and compress. Working on your posture young wards off spinal curvature as you age, and can help combat the effects of osteoporosis in women. It also strengthens your core, which not only is beneficial on sculpting that stomach but also lessening back and shoulder pain.

Flexibility and body awareness are also small but significant parts of the bigger fitness picture. Increasing your flexibility will keep you mobile as you age, and can be helpful in recovering from injuries or post-workout pain. It’s not about living to 100, it’s about living to 60 and being able to play with kids without being cramped up for days afterwards, or not having to spend a weekend recovering after your week away camping. Mobility aside, flexibility can improve your golf game, help you squat that weight deeper and generally improve on your fitness routine.

Let’s not forget the relaxation properties associated with yoga as well. Meditation and deep breathing are concepts that transition the different branches of yoga and are incorporated into each practice. Yoga breathing, or Pranayams are are also great for helping with insomnia or other sleeping problems. By taking deep breaths and calming the mind, the brain has an opportunity to wind down before bed. Harvard has published a study on the reduction of fatigue and insomnia with those who practice yoga, and the University of Rochester’s medical department published a similar study targeting cancer survivors.

All of these factors combined can be easily worked at in any fitness routine, and even working at it in small amounts can have huge benefits. This doesn’t mean that doing yoga as a sole source of fitness will turn you superhuman; it’s important to round out your fitness routine with different exercises to work your body in different ways. Incorporating yoga practices into your routine can have a lot of positive results when it comes to working through pain, recovering from injuries or trying to sleep better. Check out our schedule to see the many different yoga classes we offer, or sign up for a class today!

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