When people think of yoga, they often think of either people twisted up like pretzels, or drinking thick smoothies for breakfast. Neither one is actually what yoga is all about, although they both conjure interesting images.
People all around the world have experienced the benefits of yoga, and even beginners can reap the benefits. For example, increased flexibility, relaxation, and better sleep are all yoga benefits that, in turn, allow you to cope better with stress.
People, who do yoga, experience increased flexibility over time.
Don't worry that you might not be flexible enough, or that you're too old to start trying. Yoga has been practiced for centuries, and everyone, young or old, flexible or stiff, can experience increased flexibility.
In fact, if you're a beginner, you'll experience a bigger increase in flexibility than someone who has been doing it a while, simply because you're not as experienced. Some studies have shown that with as little as eight weeks of regular yoga practice, you can increase your flexibility by as much as thirty-five percent. Imagine how much better you'll feel by being more flexible.
This is a big part of yoga, and one of the best ways to reduce stress.
Yoga teaches you to focus on the poses, your breathing, and to let other things go. With practice, you'll find you can empty your mind of the many things running through it, and relax into your poses.
Studies have also shown that there's a decrease in the hormones that the adrenal glands produce when you feel stressed. When those hormones are lower, your body develops a feeling of calm and relaxation.
Another yoga benefit that many yoga practitioners report is better sleep. Some people find that an intense yoga session that energizes them earlier in the day gets them in the right frame of mind for sleep later on. Much like a good, energizing workout helps you sleep well, yoga can do the same thing.
Another option is to perform soothing, gentle poses before bed. There are many books and videos available illustrating many poses you can do in bed, such as the “Happy Baby” pose. By performing a few of these calming poses at bedtime, you can prepare your mind and body for a better sleep.
In conclusion, yoga isn't just a fad, or a form of exercise that only people in other countries practice. It's a centuries-old tradition that can help you become more flexible, relax, and sleep better at night. And in this world, with its fast pace and high stress, can't you benefit from all three things?
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