Yoga has that unique blend of being an all body workout combined with a deep level of relaxation.
Yoga consists of movements and stretches whilst the person consciously takes slow, deep breaths. This enables oxygen to reach practically every cell in the body.
One consistency throughout the various types of yoga is that there are standing postures, seated postures, balancing postures and inverted postures.
An example of a standing posture would be the ‘Warrior‘. This is where the person stands with their feet 3 feet apart, in line with each other. The arms are at shoulder level and outstretched. The person bends one leg, so it is at 90 degrees and looks towards the 3rd finger of the outstretched hand. This pose is great for building strength in the legs, the arms and also in helping balance. You would do alternate legs and hold each posture for about 3-4 rounds of breath. The key element is to breathe into a pose and breathe normally for a few rounds of breath.
A seated posture could be the ‘alternate leg pull’. The person sits on the mat, both legs straight out in front, back straight, hips on floor. One leg is then gently pressed against the floor, to where it is comfortable for the person. The foot should rest against the other leg, with the remainder of the leg folded against the floor. Raising the arms above the head,the person stretches forward, meanwhile being fully aware and practicing intake and outtake of breath. The person should stretch forward as far as is comfortable and stay in that position for 3-4 rounds of breath. This is a great posture for developing and maintaining flexibility of legs and hips
Those are some examples, there are many more. Yoga may appear to be a very mild form of exercise and many may believe it would not be able to help people lose weight or tone. In fact the contrary is true. Through carrying out the various poses.the body builds and tones muscle. Various poses work upon the glands of the body, namely the ‘Shoulder stand’ which helps the thyroid gland function optimally. The thyroid gland is instrumental in maintaining a balanced and healthy metabolism. Yoga elongates your shape, helping to develop that infamous yoga, streamlined shape.
If that wasn’t enough, the deep breathing calms and relaxes the mind. It frees the body from low energy, anxiety and breathing difficulties. It allows people to be present in the moment.
Even practicing for 10/15 minutes a day is sufficient to reap the rewards. Although to get started I would recommend attending a class to establish the basics.
I always gain so much benefit from doing yoga. When I neglect it I notice stiffness creeping in and also anxiety. In my mind it offers solutions to our everyday living, a chance to simply be and enjoy the wonder and magic of our bodies.