My Yoga Experience: The Road To Tranquility

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I went to a Yoga class for the very first time today! I participate in a lot of high intensity workouts throughout the week and including this into my workout schedule is a must! After a long week of intense cardio or strength training your body needs something outside of its exercise “norm”.  The experience is so tranquil and you feel at peace the entire time — even hours after you have completed. You feel centered…more balanced…free…kind of like a butterfly — or at least I did! I’m more connected to the earth (sounds deep I know), but that’s exactly how I feel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I look forward to making this a part of my workout regimen.

I hear Hot Yoga is totally awesome too!  Here is a little bit about it:

Attending a hot yoga class, you should expect to practice in a room that is heated to at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit with 60 percent humidity. During the class you will practice yoga poses, breathing exercises designed to detoxify the body, meditation and a final reclining relaxation. Be prepared to sweat profusely in a hot yoga class. Bring a towel with you and at least a liter of water. Wear minimal clothing that gives you freedom of motion, such as shorts and a sports tank top.

 Read more here. But before you do, check out below!

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

I didn’t realize there were so many awesome health benefits until reading more on it. I found some great information via Comfort In Style Magazine. Here are some great health benefits of Yoga:

Circulation
Through the practice of yoga poses along with breathing exercises, Yoga improves blood circulation. By improving circulation, nutrients and oxygen are better transported throughout your body resulting in healthier organs, skin and brain.

Respiratory System
Like the circulatory system, a lower respiratory rate indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently. Yoga helps decrease the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness. By learning how to control breathing during exercise, it maximizes the absorption of oxygen-rich air for your body which in turn helps reduce respiratory related health problems like asthma, bronchitis and clear the nasal passage and sinuses.

Relieves Stress
Stress is an increasing health issue nowadays. Stress causes your muscles to tense, the heart beat faster, a change in breathing patterns and the secretion of more hormones that increasing blood sugar levels as well as raising blood pressure. 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. Consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body.

Heart Disease
Several trials have found that yoga can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, resting heart rates and help slow the progression of atherosclerosis—all risk factors for heart disease. A combination of lowering heart rate and improving oxygenation to the body, both these benefits of yoga help in reducing the risk of heart diseases.

Cancer
Research has shown that patients fighting or recovering from cancer who do yoga benefit from a number of advantages. The results of a study in which women with metastatic breast cancer, attended eight weekly yoga sessions and the doctors found that the women had much less pain and felt more energetic and relaxed than others who hadn’t done any yoga. Cancer patients who practice yoga are said to gain strength, raise red blood cells, experience less nausea during chemotherapy and have a better overall well-being.

Back Pain and Arthritis
Yoga involves doing yoga poses in a slow, deliberate manner. It helps reduce spinal compression and improves the overall body alignment which reduce back pain. However, if the poses are incorrectly practiced it can make back pain worse. During a pose gentle pressure exerted on the joints which is an excellent form of exercise to relieve arthritis symptoms. Yoga physically helps loosen all the bodies muscles and therapeutic to the joints.

Menopause
Studies have shown that women who took yoga classes which use props to support the postures, reported a 30 percent decrease in hot flashes, one of the side effects of menopause. Women who took Yoga classes for longer plus reported less physical and sexual discomfort as well as reduced stress and anxiety.

Apart from these health benefits that yoga has shown to help, there are other emotional perks to be gained from a consistent yoga practice as yoga aims at achieving a balance between ones body and mind. Yoga elevates overall mood and well being of a person and is said to help battle depression and anxiety. It is also said to improve concentration, memory and through meditation techniques makes a person more calm and composed with a positive outlook on life.

Photo: Comfort In Style Magazine