Is Yoga Enough To Keep You Fit? What happens when you do yoga...
When it come to the fitness benefits of yoga, depending on the style you practice, it’s possible for yoga to provide a complete fitness regime. Many people think that yoga is only good for flexibility or relaxation and that you must combine it with other vigorous activities like running or weightlifting to be truly fit. Power Yoga provides benefits way beyond flexibility and relaxation and research has shown that a regular power yoga practice helps to increase strength, aerobic capacity and lung function.
Here is just a partial list of the many benefits that come from a regular power yoga practice:
1. You will burn lots of calories, which helps you lose weight
Power yoga is one of the safest, most effective forms of weight loss options available today. If your goal is weight loss, practicing power yoga will increases your heart rate, metabolic rate and burn calories which are necessary components when trying to lose weight. Yoga is not a high intensity exercise, usually, but with power yoga, classes that run for 75 minutes of continual activity is a great way to lose weight because your muscles are working the whole time, as you strengthen, lengthen and tone all major muscle groups, perform core work and maintain balance postures. Not only will you will burn calories, but the weight bearing exercise is great for healthy bones and joints, too. As a general guideline, a woman who weighs 140 pounds will burn roughly 400 calories during 45 minutes of one of my power yoga workouts. Keep in mind, your calorie burn tends to be more if you weigh more, although other factors do come into play. For effective weight loss, power yoga must be practiced at least 3 times a week, mainly for beginners. Each session of power yoga for weight loss should ideally be at least 45 minutes long. For maximum benefit, power yoga practiced for 75 minutes is encouraged.
2. You’ll build strength, tone and develop lean muscles by working different muscle groups simultaneously
Most of the postures in yoga require that you coordinate your entire body in order to get into the pose. This helps strengthen the muscles throughout your entire body, most likely the essential and often neglected ones that you’ve probably never trained before. Without the reliance of machines or weights, your body has to work together to maintain postures, which ultimately increases your body awareness. The ability to perceive our body internally without our eyes, but with our minds has huge benefits. Through subtle actions addressed in all kinds of yoga poses, you gain an understanding of how your body moves in various ways in relation to the space around you. This deeper understanding of anatomy, body mechanics and spatial awareness not only helps you develop a greater sense of functional movements, but also with reaction time, with balance and injury prevention as well.
3. You’ll experience less pain and prevent injuries from happening
Our daily activities cause loads of stress on our physical bodies. Due to the patterns of our daily habits, the repetitive overuse of certain muscle groups will cause imbalances in strength and mobility. These muscle imbalances are one of the top causes of pain and injury, because tighter muscles pull at ligaments and joints and if by chance you slip and fall, the restriction of movement caused by muscle tightness puts you at a greater risk of tearing. A regular power yoga practice will give your muscles more pliability, flexibility and functional strength which can largely impact the prevention of injuries. Power yoga is also designed to work the muscles around the joints for stability and full mobility and rotation in the joints, making all your movement’s more fluid and with greater ease. Yoga postures are also well known for the wonderful external massage that they give: Stretching. By actively stretching the muscles properly, the muscular skeletal system is rebalanced completely, which is the main reason why yoga is known to be one of the best remedies for a bad back. Eventually problems with muscle imbalances and bad posture are corrected, as you continue to train your body to remember it’s proper relationship with all it’s various parts.
4. You’ll have better focus, better moods, and better thoughts
Power yoga improves brain functioning in a number of different ways. Most people don’t realize how important the endocrine (system of glands which produce hormones to regulate many of our bodies functions) is. The endocrine system is responsible for our moods and when you practice yoga, the endocrine system is balanced, toned, and stimulated, so that the correct levels of specific hormones are produced. Ultimately this helps to dissipate stress and induce relaxation. During intense activity, you release serotonin in the brain which elevates your mood. A major component of yoga is working on meditation and breathing which calms the nervous system. It’s like a meditation in motion that will help you clear your mind from the stresses of everyday life. It will also improve your confidence because you’ll be in better shape. The practice of yoga turns attention inward, as the practitioner observes her- or himself with an attitude of compassion. As thepractitioner gains skill, a sense of physical, psychological and emotional realities often shift, becoming less influenced by the external forces of modern culture and more anchored in an internal value system.
5. You’ll improve the most fundamental, underutilized and overlooked aspect of your health: Proper breathing
We can survive without food for weeks and without water for days, but without oxygen we will die within a few minutes. Breathing is important for two basic reasons:1 - It is the only means of supplying our bodies and its various organs with oxygen because oxygen is the most vital nutrient for our cells. 2 - Breathing is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of waste products and toxins from our body.The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ. If it doesn't get enough, the result is mental sluggishness, negative thoughts, depression and, eventually, vision and hearing declines. Bad posture, such as slouching, diminishes lung capacity, which results in shortened breaths and less oxygen. Quick shallow breathing results in oxygen starvation which leads to reduced vitality, premature ageing, poor immune system and a myriad of other factors. Not only does yoga help improve posture so we can increase our lung capacity, more oxygen helps purify the blood stream and recharge the body’s internal battery (the solar plexus). Knowing that oxygen is the most important nutrient in our bodies, yoga greatly helps us tap into this vital nutrient.
6. You’ll be able to sleep through the night
If you have a hard time sleeping at night, incorporating yoga into your life can help, especially if your insomnia is stress-related. Yoga has been proven to be a great stress-reliever for both the body and mind through its breathing and relaxation techniques. Stretching the body regularly helps release muscle tension which can hinder sleep. Yoga also encourages you to tune in to the present moment, often by focusing on the breath, which allows you to stop worrying about things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. It only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to do a good stretch-and-breath routine. And many yoga poses - along with its slow, deep and rhythmic breathing - can be beneficial in helping your body to significantly relax. Whenever people tell me they're having trouble sleeping, I suggest doing a short, slow yoga routine before bedtime and it seems to work wonders.
7. You’ll develop a strong beautiful core
Another reason why yoga helps relieve back pain and fix bad backs, apart from the stretching aspect of the exercises, is that it strengthens the body, especially the core/abdominal musculature. Stretching and strengthening of the abdominal, paraspinal, and pelvic muscles, commonly lumped into the term “core” are extremely important to maintaining a healthy spine. When muscles in these areas are healthy and strong, they can take pressure off the spine and help prevent injury. The core muscle groups are the ones that hold the body internally, and helps to maintain good posture and balance. This is why core strengthening is one of the cornerstones of power yoga.When it come to the fitness benefits of yoga, depending on the style you practice, it’s possible for yoga to provide a complete fitness regime. Many people think that yoga is only good for flexibility or relaxation and that you must combine it with other vigorous activities like running or weightlifting to be truly fit. Power Yoga provides benefits way beyond flexibility and relaxation and research has shown that a regular power yoga practice helps to increase strength, aerobic capacity and lung function.
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