Yoga has been practiced for centuries as a benefit for mind and spirit. Only recently has there been a shift towards the physical practices of hatha yoga. The regular training of yoga poses and breathing can create powerful changes to your physical fitness and your body shape. These changes can include better posture, a leaner body, stronger muscles and increased flexibility.
1. Better posture: Many people today work sitting at a desk all day. This can be damaging to your spine and posture if you do not maintain proper posture. Yoga can reverse the effects of sitting all day. Your joints will be properly aligned and your muscles will be supported. Great poses to try include Cat-Cow Pose and Cobra Pose.
2. Leaner body: Yoga engages your metabolism so that your body starts burning fat. With repetition, fat is gradually removed from all over your body. In addition to this you are creating more muscle, which replaces fat. As a result, there will be less fat stores and your overall body shape becomes more lean. For a leaner body try both the Grasshopper and Crow poses.
3. Stronger muscles: If you want to strengthen muscles, yoga is one of the best things to try. Yoga poses tear muscles just like lifting weights at the gym, but at a lower impact level. Your body is the weight you are lifting so you can strengthen and tone muscles. Repetition and increasing the challenge level of poses will lead to larger muscles. Tree Pose and Plank Pose are ideal for muscles.
4. Increased flexibility: Yoga poses have you stretching and bending in various directions. This not only works to strengthen muscles, but improves flexibility. Muscles are lengthened which leads to increased mobility. High Lungs and Reverse Plank will lengthen muscles to improve flexibility with repetition.
5. Firmer abs: The good posture that yoga develops also enhances your core muscles. This means your ab muscles will be stronger, giving you a flatter stomach. Yoga burns fat which means your toned abs will be more obvious. Poses that focus on the core are as effective as doing sit ups. Just try Dolphin Plank Pose and Extended Puppy Pose.
6. Healthy weight: Burning fat while promoting muscle growth are two of the most essential elements for healthy weight loss. When combined with a healthy and balanced diet, yoga can be an effective tool for weight loss. Bridge Pose and Warrior III focus on the core which can support weight loss through optimized metabolism.
7. Glowing Skin: Yoga also improves the health of your skin. Through the controlled breathing, yoga reduces stress and anxiety, which produce toxins that contribute to skin conditions. The relaxation from yoga will leave you stress-free and glowing. To promote healthy skin add the Eagle Pose and Thunderbolt Pose.
8. Relief from aches and pain: As mentioned, yoga supports proper spinal alignment and good posture. With joints and muscles properly supported, your body will be relieved of daily aches and pains. In addition to posture poses mentioned earlier, the Standing Forward Fold is good for pain relief.
9. Yoga can completely transform your body, inside and out. You will look and feel more confident. With muscle building, relaxation, and weight control, yoga promotes several systems in your body and promotes overall health and well-being.