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Benefits of Yoga

The sterotype of yoga is changing, as all exerciser types are discovering the benefits of yoga.  Even sport coaches are realizing the benefits to their players, as yoga strengthens the core, promotes balance and flexibility, prevents injuries, and builds self-awareness and self-confidence.  As yoga participants have known, now all are discovering that yoga can be an essential part of a healthy lifestye.

Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses.  Also, they usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation.  If you are new to yoga, start with a beginning or gentle yoga class, then as your experience grows try different classes until you find the one best suited to you.

Physical Benefits:

Flexibility: Stretching your tight body will help it to become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips.

Core:  Yoga moves will require you to engage your core muscles, in order to balance and perform certain moves.  The more you engage your core muscles, the stronger they become, helping prevent hipflexor, back and other injuries.

Strength: Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body.  Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

Muscle tone: A by-product of getting stronger is that  you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.

Pain Prevention: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who suffer from back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car. That can cause tightness and spinal compression. Yoga also improves your alignment.

Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don't give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body.

Mental Benefits:

Mental Calmness: Some yoga classes require great physical concentration.  Concentrating intently on what your body is doing allows your mind to relax. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts.  Classes are held in dark, quiet rooms that add to a relaxing atmosphere.

Stress Reduction: Physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is particularly true of yoga.  This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective.

Body Awareness: You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment, which will give you an increased awareness of your own body, gaining confidence in your own body.   This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.

If you are new to yoga, start with a beginning or gentle yoga class, then try different classes until you find the one best suited for you. 

Yoga offerings at the Y

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