What is your reaction to yoga?

On Fire Fitness & Physical Therapy has one mission: promoting fitness, health and lifestyle changes we all need to stay happy and healthy well into our senior years.

It seems like everywhere you go these day someone is talking about yoga. Maybe you’ve seen people in the park or in the grocery store doing poses, and you’re curious to know what it’s all about. Or maybe you’ve tried a class before and didn’t really enjoy it. Regardless of your experience level, this post is for you! I’m going to explain what yoga is, talk about the benefits of practicing it regularly, and give some tips on how to get started. 

Reasons you Should Join the Ranks of Yoga Practitioners 

It’s low impact for your body 

While it might not seem like it at first, yoga is actually very gentle on your joints and bones because you’re in a controlled environment. This means that if you’re recovering from an injury or have arthritis in your knees, there’s no need to worry about overstressing any of your parts while you’re doing yoga. What’s more, many people recover much faster when they work within their limits rather than pushing themselves too hard. That said, mountain pose (tadasana) can go a long way toward increasing flexibility and strength in even the most inflexible folks practicing yoga. So if getting down on your hands and knees is not really your thing, but you still w You can do mountain pose anywhere without anyone knowing what you’re doing. 

Yoga helps you concentrate on breathing during stressful times 

If you’ve ever had a panic attack or found yourself overcome by emotion, chances are that it was because of stress. But one way to combat this stress is through mindfulness meditation. And one form of mindfulness meditation is pranayama, or yogic breathing techniques. So if you practice breathing exercises throughout your day, whether they’re conscious or automatic breaths, then you’ll be able to combat stress in your life more efficiently than someone who doesn’t pay attention to their breath at all. Now, I’m not saying that you should never take a deep breath or stop to smell the flowers. But if you can pay more attention to your breathing during stressful times of your life, then you’ll be less likely to experience such strong emotional reactions. Which brings me to my next point… 

Yoga reduces stress and anxiety 

 It’s what you make it, of course. Depending on how much effort and concentration you put into the practice, yoga can be very relaxing or really challenging. That said, some people find that just by attending yoga classes and practicing on their own makes them feel less stressed than before they started doing yoga. For example: A study on 32 men and women with generalized anxiety disorder found that those who attended weekly one-hour yoga classes for four months experienced a significant reduction in their anxiety symptoms. However, the researchers noted that the participants who practiced at home on their own reported even greater improvements in their symptoms. So it’s up to you whether you want to dive into the studio and practice along with your classmates, or practice at home by yourself. 

Yoga helps you feel connected to your body 

Everyone has felt disconnected from their body at one time or another. Maybe you were angry, sad, or just exhausted. Whatever the situation was, feeling disconnected from your body is not a fun experience. Now, instead of cutting out activities that might help you feel more connected with yourself, try doing yoga. Because while there are many ways to practice mindfulness meditation, yoga allows for an even greater sense of awareness because it requires so much concentration and effort. So next time you’re feeling particularly down on yourself, go do some yoga poses. Chances are that after a few hours of practicing, you’ll have a better idea of what your needs are physically and emotionally. And hey, maybe you’ll find that yoga is the type of activity you need to do more often. 

Yoga helps your body become more flexible 

There are few things worse than not being able to adapt to new situations, especially if they’re physical. Because let’s face it: Your body eventually changes, whether you like it or not. And for some people, these changes can be difficult to adapt to… But with regular practice, it is possible for everyone (yes, even you!) to maintain their flexibility. So go do some yoga stretches today! Not only will your muscles feel better afterward, but who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new favorite pose or two! Whatever happens, remember this first and foremost:  

It’s been said that the yoga is a great way to get in shape, find peace of mind and have more energy. If you’re considering joining the ranks of practicing yogis but are not sure if it’s for you, then we invite you to give us call today. Our team can help answer any questions or concerns about your fitness goals and how our classes would best suit them. 

About the Authors  

Journey Healing Centers focuses on Yoga primarily as a healing practice for men, women and children of all ages.  We know that most Americans believe that “yoga is good for you,” but did you know that science backs them up? It’s true! Yoga has been shown to improve health, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance, all while reducing stress, anxiety, and pain. Yoga practitioners have a stronger sense of mental clarity, physical fitness, flexibility, and strength.  As you can see these are all powerful reasons for taking up Yoga – so join us! 

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