Hands up anyone who thinks that Yoga is all about just a good stretch? If you found yourself putting your hand up, you’d be wrong. Very wrong. There’s so much more to Yoga than it just being a stretching exercise. Take a look.
Pro’s of doing Yoga
Helps in stress reduction
The stress-reducing properties of Yoga are legendary. Yogis from all over the world are famed for saying that when they come out of a Yoga class, they are calm, relaxed and are ready to take on any of life’s challenges that it throws at them.
But before you dismiss this as a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than an essential, minimising your stress has proven health benefits. For example, when you’re stressed your immunity is extremely low. This make you very susceptible to any disease from the common cold to something more serious such as bronchitis. So the next time you feel a cold coming on, instead of heading for the pharmacy why not haul out your Yoga mat and head to your nearest Yoga class!
As we’ve written in previous articles, Yoga was developed in order for monks, who spent many hours in meditation, to help them alleviate aches and pains in their muscles. Thus Yoga is a very low-impact exercise – many Yoga poses are isometric exercises – which makes it very good for people who suffer from arthritis, osteoporosis and other diseases of the joints as it places minimal pressure on these areas.
It is a weight-bearing exercise
When you hear the term ‘weight-bearing exercise’ the first thing that you probably will be thinking of is resistance training in the form of free weights or the like. Well, you’ll be happy to know that Yoga is a form of weight-bearing exercise as well. Instead of using external weights, it uses your body weight to give you the same benefit. So the good news is that you don’t need to head to the free weights section to derive the benefits of this form of exercise.
Yoga develops proprioception
Proprioception is your body’s ability to know where your limbs are without you have to physically look to see where they are. This sense is important because, for example, it will help your body to adjust to unfamiliar terrain. For example if you’re walking on an uneven surface, your sense of proprioception will send signals to your feet and ankles to adjust your muscle activation accordingly so preventing your from falling.
There are certain Yoga poses which will help you develop your sense of proprioception. One of these is Utkatasana or Chair Pose. Here’s how to perform this:
- Begin in Tadasana or Mountain Pose.
- Breathe in and the raise your arms above your head until they are straights and at 90 degrees to the floor. You may join your hands or keep them parallel to each other.
- Exhale and then begin bending your knees as if you are sitting down on a chair try to get your knees to bend so that your things are parallel to the floor.
- As your move slowly into the pose allow your knees to project slightly over your feet and your upper body to lean forward slightly. Keep your ankles and knees together.
- Square your shoulders and tilt your pelvis forward slightly. Lengthen the lower back. Keep your inner things parallel to each other.
- Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes and breathe normally then slowly straighten back to the Mountain Pose.
Watch this video for a simple demonstration of this Yoga pose.
These are just a few of the countless health and wellness benefits that Yoga has to offer. If you want to see how these can help in your life, why not get down to your nearest Yoga studio. Or, better yet, why not become a Yoga instructor yourself with Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Yoga Certification. It is the only Yoga course that is accredited by the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). This means that, armed with this Yoga qualification, you’re destined to become the Yoga teacher that everyone wants to go to! Follow this link to learn more and to register.