If you are new to yoga or simply want to know more about how exactly yoga has a physical effect on your body, you may be interested in reading further. As you may know, yoga has been shown to have very real benefits on the body and mind. There are many different styles of yoga to practice depending on what it is you are trying to accomplish.
From feeling aches and pains, feeling stressed out, wanting to lower your blood pressure, tone your muscles, become more flexible, find peace of mind, and overall getting fit, yoga has become a more and more popular choice of fitness and meditation.
Many people think of yoga and immediately have this mental image of extremely flexible people doing insane stretches — this is right in some styles of yoga, but there is much more to yoga and meditation, and many styles to choose from. Yoga itself is an ancient practice with thousands of variations developed over that time — and each has their own set of benefits that can match your needs.
Balancing and breathing exercises are a main staple of most yoga types for a good reason. Reaching physical relaxation, increasing energy, removing toxins from the body, and committing to meditation to clear the mind are all worthy goals for improving the quality of your daily life. And while it seems like you are simply stretching and breathing in order to calm down, those who practice yoga know that balancing and breathing exercises are actions in disguise — they do much more than that — they flush toxins from your body, lower blood pressure, tone muscles, increase circulation of blood in the body, improve lung function, reduce cortisol levels (stress), decrease depression and anxiety, and much more. Amazing, isn’t it?
Most styles of yoga can be boiled down to a couple of key concepts. Breathing control, postural movements, meditation, and relaxation are all components of what makes yoga what it is. And what it is makes yoga completely different from other types of fitness and health.
How to Get Started
For people seeking out yoga where they live, it is well worth it to research different types of yoga to see which matches up with what you are looking for. You can also do some “yoga dating.” This just means head to a few of your local studios and try out different beginners classes. Even one class may help you decide what you do and do not want. Try out different styles of yoga, different instructors, and see what works for you.
This will help if you have any restrictions or conditions. For example, if you have a bad back, a bad knee, a bad rotator cuff, old injuries, new injuries you are recovering from, or conditions such as asthma — you may want to avoid certain types of yoga (or more importantly, take on the mindset of finding the perfect one). There are a ton of yoga types that are actually perfect for people healing from injuries — Rope Wall Yoga, for instance.
In fact, just about anyone can do yoga, regardless of your physical condition — you just have to slowly work your way up. People in their 70s have joined yoga with frozen shoulders, limited mobility in their bodies, and who have had difficulties bending. A year later, after going to yoga regularly, these geriatric yogis could do postures that those 20 years younger could do. They increased their mobility by a huge margin and took years back from their life. Don’t be intimidated – be excited!
In the end, it is not necessarily the type of yoga that matters, but the instruction. Everyone starts off as a beginner anyways so you don’t have to be doing backflips or inverting your body practically inside out on your first day — or even year. It is important to find a good instructor that will take you from Day 1 to your future in yoga responsibly and safely.
Balancing and Breathing
It all comes down to two basic concepts: balancing and breathing. And these two aspects of yoga are what have such an incredible affect on the body and mind. With all of the benefits to your health that we have already mentioned in this article, both physical and mental, the art of balancing and meditative breathing is more than a meaningless act — these concepts have a positive effect on the body and mind that you can take advantage of for long-term health and fitness.