Why is it so good for me?
You will improve your flexibility. During your first class, you probably won't be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you'll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You'll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
Give me strength!
You will build strength, tone and develop lean muscles by working different muscle groups together. Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people.
To the Bone
You will increase bone density. It's well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures.
You’ll have better focus, better moods, and better thoughts because Yoga improves brain functioning in a number of different ways. Our moods are controlled by the endocrine system and when you practice yoga, the endocrine system is balanced, toned, and stimulated, so that the correct levels of specific hormones are produced. Ultimately this helps to dissipate stress and induce relaxation. During intense activity, you release serotonin in the brain which elevates your mood. A major component of yoga is working on meditation and breathing which calms the nervous system. It’s like a meditation in motion that will help you clear your mind from the stresses of everyday life. It will also improve your confidence because you’ll be in better shape.
You will improve your posture. Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it's balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it's no wonder you're tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Go with the flow…
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.
You’ll be able to sleep through the night. Yoga has been proven to be a great stress-reliever for both the body and mind through its breathing and relaxation techniques. Stretching the body regularly helps release muscle tension which can hinder sleep. Yoga also encourages you to tune in to the present moment, often by focusing on the breath, which allows you to stop worrying about things that happened in the past or might happen in the future. It only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to do a good stretch-and-breath routine. And many yoga poses - along with its slow, deep and rhythmic breathing - can be beneficial in helping your body to significantly relax.
To the Core…
You’ll develop a strong beautiful core. Stretching and strengthening of the abdominal, paraspinal, and pelvic muscles, commonly lumped into the term “core” are extremely important to maintaining a healthy spine. When muscles in these areas are healthy and strong, they can take pressure off the spine and help prevent injury. The core muscle groups are the ones that hold the body internally, and help to maintain good posture and balance. This is why core strengthening is one of the cornerstones of yoga.