If you didn’t know, September is National Yoga Month! This month, declared by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is an attempt to build awareness of the amazing mental and physical benefits of yoga.
A lot of us get bogged down with day-to-day stresses associated with work, school, family, friends, kids, etc. and yoga is a fantastic way to set your mind and body back at peace. Through sun salutations, power moves and simple mediating, it is one of the best fitness regimens to build mental and physical strength. From better posture and flexibility to overall strength and balance, yoga has a wide range of benefits for any fitness level.
FLEXIBILITY FROM YOGA
Yoga poses are known to safely stretch the body’s muscles. This releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use that usually causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. Yoga also increases the range of motion and lubrication in the joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.
STRENGTH FROM YOGA
Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous and will help improve muscle tone, i.e. help you get that lean sexy look that yogi’s are known for. For upper body strength, downward dog and plank pose work best, whereas if you’re looking to increase strength in quads, hams and the core, your best bet is standing poses like warrior.
POSTURE FROM YOGA
With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. In other words, by practicing yoga, you will sit and stand taller! Why is this? Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength – they require your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose.
BALANCE FROM YOGA
The deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves allows lung capacity to improve. This often leads to improved sports performance and endurance, and thus balance.
…And if the above benefits still don’t convince you to get to the yoga studio (or your local gym), yoga is also known to be the best de-stresser. And that my friend, is why I do it!
This month, try concentrating on improving your flexibility, strength, posture and balance with yoga and come October, compare the difference in your body and state of mind. Guarantee you, you will be happier overall!