The alarm clock shrilled, earlier than I wanted but after 20 minutes of yoga to center my mind and stretch my tired muscles, I was ready to face the day. Yoga is used to unite the mind, body, and spirit. It is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India.
Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. However, as yoga becomes increasingly diffuse and diverse, a single, common definition that can be agreed upon by everyone is difficult.
Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. Yoga usually includes some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well.
There are many yoga styles to choose from, and although most are based on doing basically the same yoga poses, their approaches differ widely. Your personality, likes and dislikes, and even your physical abilities and needs can help you identify the right style for you, so you don’t get turned off by a class that doesn’t suit you.
One of the great things about yoga is that it is so adaptable to varying populations. Whatever your age, sex, or level of fitness, there is a yoga style for you. Yoga is also therapeutic for many injuries and medical conditions. Yoga therapy can provide relief from stress, as well as many other mental and physical ailments, but always consult your doctor before beginning a new yoga therapy. Yoga is not meant to replace medical care.
I use yoga to stretch my muscles before a cardio workout but there are numerous reasons to practice yoga. Decide what your goals are and find a yoga style that will help you achieve that goal.