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.
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!
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
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