Yoga has become extremely popular these days as more and more people find out about the peaceful and serene feeling you achieve when practicing along with the overall well-being you experience.
Yoga has become so popular that it has now become a $10 billion a year niche with participants spending more and more on yoga-related products and classes.
And why wouldn't they? Yoga has been known to heal the mind-body by its ability to not only reduce stress in your life but it is also practiced for the wide-ranging amount of physical health benefits it provides. While the jury is still out on the scientific research, we do know some of the potential effects it can have on your body.
One form of yoga, Hatha which places emphasis on physical postures, is said to help improve your cognitive functions such as improving not only your focus but your memory as well. This form of yoga can provide strength and endurance benefits and is a less vigorous style of yoga.
Another form of yoga, Bikram which is performed in a heated room temperature of approximately 100 degrees, has been found to be effective in increasing hamstring and back flexibility along with shoulder flexibility improvement.
Since yoga is a low-impact form of getting you to move and stretch, it has also been found to reduce stress and anxiety along with heightening the brain chemicals that reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related disorders.
Some forms of yoga are more physical than other such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga. These two forms will help you to improve overall muscle tone. There are certain poses for different parts of your body. Use poses such as the upward facing dog, the plank pose or the downward facing dog if you want to build upper-body strength.
If you want to up the strength in your abs, hamstrings and quadriceps, practice the standing poses while holding them for several long breaths. If you want to strengthen your lower back, use poses such as the upward facing dog and the chair pose. If you practice all of the above poses correctly, you should see improvement in your core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.
Not only will you feel an improvement in your core strength, as you become stronger and more flexible you will see a noticeable improvement in your posture.
By practicing yoga, you will become more aware of your body and if you are slouching or slumping allowing you to adjust your posture to stand and sit. Your core will be much stronger because you are practicing standing and sitting poses to develop that core strength. You need your core muscles to support and maintain each pose.
Yoga can improve your breathing. By participating in yoga classes, you will be forced to pay attention to your breathing which in turn will help you to relax. Some yoga classes require specific breathing techniques. Yoga is not the same as running, cycling or aerobics unless you are participating in one of the more intense forms of yoga, some of which use a heated room.
If you have way too much stress in your life, yoga can help you to feel more relaxed and less stressed. Some forms of yoga also incorporate meditation techniques into the classes.
One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is how good it is for your heart. Not only can yoga help to slow your heart rate but it can also lower your blood pressure. This is really good news for those with heart disease, high blood pressure or those who have experienced a stroke.