Did you know…?
Yoga started in the East as a spiritual practice with much of its focus on meditation. In the West, yoga is viewed primarily as a physical practice with the focus being health and wellness. Today yoga has become an increasingly popular method of breathing, physical exercises and meditation. Yoga exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent medical conditions and improve resistance to psychological stresses. Strength, endurance and physical flexibility are especially beneficial to those with back problems.
Why is yoga so effective and beneficial in preventing and helping medical conditions?
- Yoga reduces blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body. These two exercises can help lower blood pressure.
- Yoga improves blood circulation. By transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
- Yoga promotes strength and energy. Yoga promotes constant energy and an increase in strength.
- Yoga promotes cardiovascular endurance. A combination of lower heart rate and improved oxygenation to the body (both benefits of yoga) results in higher cardiovascular endurance.
- Yoga helps to prevent diseases. Yoga practice massages internal organs, thus improving the ability of the body to prevent disease. Additionally, an experienced yoga practitioner becomes better attuned to her body to know at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly, thereby allowing for quicker response to head off disease.
- Yoga improves gastrointestinal functions in both men and women who practice yoga.
- Yoga improves a person’s immune system by making it stronger to ward off sickness.
- Yoga increases your tolerance for pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly.
- Chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga
- Yoga promotes an increase in metabolism. Consistent yoga practice creates a more efficient metabolism and helps promote weight loss.
- Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification helps to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
- Yoga helps to reduce stress. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life.
Why is it important to have a good mat when practicing yoga?
When practicing yoga it is vital to have a good mat. Yoga mats lie in the ideal support and cushioning that it provides between you and the hard floor. It supports contact points like knees, elbows and hips that are prone to injury during an exercise regime. These dense yet lightweight mats have "sticky" texture that keeps hands and feet firmly in position, and thus decrease the chances of loosing balance and prevents injury. These Yoga mats define your space and personality and therefore are available in various patterns and colors.
As an author of the book, “The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body - Heal Your Body Naturally and Maintain Optimal Health Using Alternative Medicine, Herbals, Vitamins, Fruits and Vegetables I found the Forever-Pink Yoga Mat (3mm) and Watercress Cargo yoga Mat (3mm) to be an excellent mats to practice yoga on.”
The difference between a 5mm yoga mat and a 3 mm yoga mat
The thickness of the mat is another aspect of size you will want to consider. A typical yoga mat is (3mm) thick. However, you can buy thick mats that provide extra padding for your body. These range from four to (5mm) thick.
I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years. I have used both the Gaiam’s (5mm) yoga mats and two of Gaiam’s (3mm) mats. The (3mm) yoga mats are a lot lighter to carry.
I brought the mats to two different Hot Yoga Classes. It supported my back, knees and elbows and gave me enough of cushion so I felt no discomfort, none what so ever. However, I would suggest the (5mm) yoga mat to someone with back problems or someone who has a sensitive back.
If you do not have any back problems or you do not need any extra back support then I would suggest the (3mm) yoga mat. A little extra support feels good for someone with back issues.
What I liked best about these mats is that the mats absorbed the sweat from my body so the mats were never wet and I never slipped. The mat was completely dry the whole time and I was sweating like crazy throughout the classes in a 110 degrees room.
The mat was so light to carry that it felt like you had a towel in your yoga bag and nothing more.
I used the Gaiam Watercress Cargo Mat Bag to carry the mats to my classes. I loved it! It held my mat tight in place and I even had room to put my water bottle and towel in the bag if I wanted too. The bag was made well and the quality of the bag was outstanding. I loved the design too. All their designs are creative, spiritual and earthy.
I have tried several different (3mm) yoga mats in the past made by other companies. I found Gaiam’s Forever-Pink Yoga Mat (3mm) and Watercress Cargo yoga Mat (3mm) to be the most effective and most comfortable out of all the (3mm) yoga mats that I have tried in the past.
The mats and the bag came quickly and were packaged well. I was impressed with the quality of the yoga products and I loved the designs and colors they used. I got several compliments’ at the gym too. I will continue to use both yoga mats in my classes. Also, what I loved about the Forever-Pink Yoga Mat (3mm) is that every $1 from their sales goes to fund Breast Cancer Research. The style of the mat was beautiful and creative, and, it helps to fund a great cause.
I give Forever-Pink Yoga Mat (3mm), the Watercress Cargo yoga Mat (3mm) and their Watercress Cargo yoga Mat Bag FIVE STARS. I am so happy I ordered them from Gaiam.