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    HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - Want to find a calmer mind, great workout and spiritual peace all wrapped into one? Yoga has taken a foothold in the fitness world as one of the best ways to stay in shape and offer a multitude of health benefits. At HSFT, we've long been fans of getting on the mat. Here's our 14 favorite reasons why yoga should be in your life:

    1) Just Breathe

    Sounds funny to say, but too often we forget our breath. Vinyasa flow and asana-linked practices in yoga put a big emphasis on breath connected to movement. Our breath can slow us down and deepen our practice. And has been proven to lower stress levels and high blood pressure. 

    2) Feel the Stretch 

    You'll stretch muscles you didn't know you had and release tension and tightness all over you body.

    3) Strength 

    You'll be amazed at how strong your body can become by simply doing yoga. Building core strength and toning muscle as you move on your mat is a bonus to your practice. 

    4) Accessories, please!

    Everything from mala beads to lotus flower yoga mats have hit the market and you'll have plenty of beautiful products to support your practice from the perfect mat to your idea wardrobe. We're fond of our HSFT sports bra and leggings, of course!

    5) Sweat

    Whether you chose a heated Bikram-style class or not, yoga releases heat from the body so many classes will leave you glistening and glowing. 

    6) Better Digestion 

    Moving our bodies, twisting our torsos, and the constant shift of our organs in yoga gets the blood flowing and the body moving. It's deeply powerful for improving the body's general functions, like digestion.

    7) For You Health 

    Yoga has been shown to lower heart disease, increase brain function, increase bone density and lower blood pressure. That and you'll look great in your clothes? We're in!

    8) Rock Your Body

    Build core strength, strengthen and tone your legs, butt, thighs and abs, and watch your biceps, shoulders and triceps come to life with plank pose and downward facing dog. Yoga builds muscle, literally, from head to toe. 

    9) Quiet the Mind

    Yoga helps us focus on movement and breathe and takes us out of the mind and most classes open and close with a few minutes of a meditative practice. There's no better way than to slow down the hamster wheel than to get on a yoga mat. 

    10) Yoga = Happy

    A research study from Harvard found that women who had been through an emotional trauma and were experiencing depression and anxiety, decreased their depression and anxiety by 50% after three months of yoga, just twice a week. #yogamakesyousmile

    11) Community

    Yogis who frequent classes and their mat are typically kind, loving, accepting and tolerant. There's a warm feeling when your in a class with people who aren't judging you for what your wearing and how long you can hold a pose. Most yogis don't bother with that and are always glad to move their mat over to make room for one more. 

    12) Build Your Core and Your Confidence 

    Getting toned and fit is always the goal with exercise, but there is so much more to a practice of yoga. You'll find a renewed confidence in yourself that comes from learning to accept yourself and to just "be on your mat" no matter what. A regular yoga practice gives you strength and the ability to feel confident that YOU have got your own back. 

    13) Change the Way You See the World

    When we quiet the mind, strengthen the spirit and the physical self, we shift our thinking. We drop the judgement of ourself and others, we find patience more easily and we stop blaming. 

    14) Hormone Balance

    When we twist and turn and move the body, all while releasing sweat, toxins, we give our organs a rinse, release hormones and increase blood flow. Yoga has been proved to help with painful periods and cramps and improve hormonal imbalance. 

     

    A yoga mat is the doorway to a better you. Try a local class or search online and see what the yoga buzz is all about.

     

     

    This article was written and contributed by HSFT writer Rebecca Doubek who is a certified yoga instructor and a yoga believer... #getonyourmat 

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  • You can still look chic and cool, even if you're sweating. Our original crop tank, crown baseball hat and hsft water bottle are a perfect part of the morning workout.  

    HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - We all know trends in exercise, health and fitness come-and-go, but the "yoga trend" seems to be here to stay. At HSFT, we're "all in" with the amazing benefits yoga has to offer. With so much research about its positive effects, it's pretty clear, yoga is the bomb. 

    Have a mat but don't know where it is? Never tried it because it's not your thing? We think we can change your mind when you read our 5 reasons that we all should be doing down dog and chanting Om

    1) Your Yoga Mat Will Keep The Doctor Away

    There's enough medical science and research about the positive effects of yoga on the body to write five more blogs on the topic. In a nutshell, you'll be lowering heart disease, increasing brain function, increasing bone density, lowering blood pressure, and improving lung capacity. And those are just a few of things that happened when you hit your yoga mat. Study after study has supported the positive effects your body enjoys when you practice yoga. It's like a multi-vitamin for your health. #getonyourmat

    2) Mind, Rocking Body and Spirit 

    Yeah, we are all about the "holistic health" of the mind and the soul, with our physical selves. But we love seeing the results in our body from all the hard work. Unless we're taking a restorative yoga class, chances are, we're moving and maybe even sweating on our mat. Try a vinyasa flow or power yoga class and we may have to re-think that whole "Yoga is just stretching" theory. You want defined abs, increased core strength, great legs and a perkier posterior? Oh, and did we mention the "gun show"? Triceps and biceps love a good plank pose and build muscle quickly. Yoga builds muscle and strength, literally from head to toe. And it isn't in isolation, like weights in a gym. This is a full-body workout that stretches and releases the tension and tightness in our muscles and builds flexibility, not just strength. Want to get ready for bikini season? Get to yoga! #yogarocksyourbody

    3) Meditate and Motivate

    We've all seen the lots of people jump on the meditation trend. From Oprah to Cher and everyone in between, meditation has been linked to increasing good health and undoing stress in the brain. Here's the best part about yoga; it's like a two-for-one, because any decent yoga studio's classes will be a hybrid "yoga and meditation"; a mindful movement practice that takes you inward. Most classes will also encourage "the breathe" and a breathing practice as you move. After all, the beginnings of yoga were a spiritual practice geared toward moving us to enlightenment. It wasn't until several hundred years later that yoga also became a physical practice. In the end, a good yoga studio or yoga practice is intended to take you inward, to breathe, and to find your peace and inner bliss. And that, is some dope shit. #yogaisdope

    4) Yoga Makes You Happy

    Yep, you'll be smiling ear-to-ear, with your mat under your arm, and the sweat pooling at your neck, when you leave yoga class. Call it "yoga euphoria". The movement in yoga releases toxins and hormones ,which help to stabilize our brain function and our mood. Think of it like squeezing out a sponge at the kitchen sink. In yoga, when you are twisting and turning and bending and sweating, you are ringing out your organs releasing all those toxins. You are also oxygenating the blood which is an instant mood boost. A research study from Harvard showed that women who had been through an emotional trauma and were experiencing depression and anxiety, decreased their depression and anxiety by 50% after three months of yoga, just twice a week. #yogamakesyousmile

     "If you practice yoga once a week, you will change your mind. If you practice yoga twice a week, you will change your body. If you practice yoga three times a week, you will change your life." -Poster at local Yoga Studio

    5) Yoga Makes You Strong 

    We all know that it takes being Wonder Woman these days, to juggle the demands of our busy lives. Women are doing more than ever in the work place and in the world. The best balance we can offer ourselves is to be soft and vulnerable, but strong and wise. There are going to be days when you're gonna have to strap on your shit kickers and take charge. And there are going to be days where everyone around you is leaning on you and your strength.

    And then there are days when you need strength just to get by. Physical strength is one thing. But when we are strengthening your mind/body/spirit while you optimize your health and lift your mood, that's a trifecta. And that's why we do yoga. Strong women get shit done. Strong women also know that every day is a gift, so you always gotta Have Some Fun Today. Get strong. Go to Yoga! #hsftyoga

     

     

    This article was written and contributed by HSFT writer Rebecca Doubek who is a certified yoga instructor and a yoga believer... #getonyourmat 

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