What is yoga? Can it help me get fit or is it just an oriental fancy thing that celebrities brag about. Get your briefing right now!
Yoga goes way back in history and evolved as a spiritual practice in Hinduism; in the Modern world, a part of yoga, known as Asana, has grown popular as a form of purely physical exercise.Many yoga studios leave completely aside the spiritual factor and embrace just the physical side of yoga. This is not totally wrong, but a better understanding of the phenomenon will lead to improved results related to your fitness program.
Most of the yoga exercises take the form of asanas (stances) and are performed in a flowing manner while being combined with special breathing techniques (e.g. abdominal breathing). At a fist look – and especially for somebody who doesn’t know anything about this type of fitness – the exercises might look very simple to perform, even boring. Once you start to practice them though you we’ll be surprised by the challenge you are facing.
Even after a few “simple” exercises your body will feel slightly sore and you will realize how efficient they are. It is very important, at least for beginners, to seek a certified/qualified instructor, so they could learn the exercises correctly. It is often a common mistake that beginners make to follow videos and trained unsupervised because “it all looks so simple”. In this case injuries may occur and the student will more likely lose interest pretty quick due to lack of results.
The main benefit of yoga exercises come from the combination of breathing techniques and the exercises performed, known as stance, which can be compared with active stretching.
In this way your entire body will participate, increasing the blood flow and resulting with a reinvigorating effect. Stretching will prevent the loss of mobility and flexibility due to age (a muscle has a set length which decreases with years if not stretched, fact that explains the diminished flexibility and mobility of most older individuals).
The relative simplicity and the fact that yoga is usually seen as a friendly type of activity and exercise (as opposed to the intimidating gym environment) make yoga attractive to a large number of people from various walks of life and with various ages.