For thousands of years Yoga has been practiced by many individuals interested it improving their health. With the many differences in Yoga classes and teachings, fitness minded individuals are discovering that Yoga offers something for everyone.
Yoga has a long history. Locations in the Indus Valley show stone carvings of Yoga poses dating back approximately 5000 years. Yoga was thought to be discovered in this country in the 1800’s but was widely known and accepted in the 1960’s due to the interest in eastern cultures.
Yoga, in its beginnings was discovered on the Indian sub-continent as a system of increasing physical and mental clarity. Although it involves many styles, its main focus was to teach principles such as: physical postures (Asanas), breathing forms (Pranayama), ethical disciplines (Yamas and Niyamas), concentration, and meditation.
The benefits of practicing Yoga are many: Strength, Stress Reduction, Flexibility, Balance, Circulation, and a general well-being are mentioned when Yoga students are asked questions on how they feel after a Yoga class. These positive results from Yoga can be applied to people of all ages such as senior citizens looking for safe exercise techniques, stressed corporate executives, and children learning how to safely execute physical and breathing movements.
I myself decided to choose Yoga because of my lack of flexibility. I felt I needed to increase my core strength, increase breathing capacity using my diaphragm, and improve my balance. Also I never have taken a full Yoga class in its entirety.
I was surprise how my energy levels improved while my stress decreased after the session was completed. A few days afterward, my muscles in my back, legs, and core, were slightly sore but in a positive way. I knew my flexibility improved just after that one session. The class experience was positive also. Individuals were focused on their form and breathing but were also encouraging other members of the class. The only equipment I needed was my Yoga mat, comfortable clothes, and an open mind.
Yoga can be tailored to individual’s fitness levels, can be done inside the comfort of your own home, and doesn’t require fancy exercise equipment or a gym membership to learn its positive results. It can be a sweaty or sweat-less workout, it improves your energy, and also improves your mood.
Guest author Dale Kuehne is an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer with 20 years of experience, a CHEK Institute Certified Golf Fitness Specialist, and has a B.S. in Health and Wellness from California University of Pennsylvania.