Sometimes fitness goers can fall into “camps” – bootcamp fanatics, spin cyclicsts and the list of fitness affinities goes on. But even if you’re not in the yogi camp, the practice can still have great benefits for your body and mind. Trainers Heidi Kristoffer and Robert Nguyen explain the benefits of adding yoga to your exercise routine, with Heidi pointing out that yoga is a complete mind and body workout, and that there are many different styles of yoga so you can find the one that works for you.
Yoga uses your body’s own weight to help build strength. Different poses work different sets of muscles, but all poses involve the use of your core to balance yourself, which helps improve muscle tone. Though all types of yoga help with strength, power yoga is an especially athletic form of yoga that builds strength more quickly. Heidi says when she first took a yoga class she thought it would be a lot of stretching but was happy to find herself drenched in sweat halfway through the class!
It’s pretty common knowledge that yoga is great for improving flexibility. However, this flexibility is great for your overall athletic performance. In general, strength training tends to decrease flexibility but yoga builds strength while increasing flexibility, making it a great addition to your exercise routine. Greater flexibility also helps to prevent injuries from occurring, which is great whether you’re an athlete or a fitness lover.
Yoga is an excellent way to help recognize the proper alignment of your body. This improved posture translates into your everyday life and helps reduce aches and pains, especially in the back, shoulders and neck, which can be caused by improper posture.
Helps You Focus
Robert says that yoga is about being present and aware of what’s happening in the moment. This helps improves your focus not only while you are practicing yoga, but also makes it easier to focus in your daily life.
Calms Your Mind
Heidi says that yoga has made her a much more calm and happy person. She points out that one of the most important revelations she had is “You are enough”, which helped her to feel more positive in her daily life. Yoga also teaches you to pair movement with your breath, which promotes a sense of calm and relaxation.
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