More people downward dogging their way to health
Yoga is no longer the sole domain of hippies and spiritual beings on a life journey. Walk into any yoga class these days and you’ll find male and female hockey players, weight lifters, fitness junkies, students, parents and people of all ages and body types. The American College of Sports Medicine dubbed yoga one of the top 20 global fitness trends last year. And while the ancient discipline that dates back more than 5,000 years is considered a growth industry responsible not only for helping participants achieve a stronger mind / body connection, flexibility and the amazing zen feeling that comes at the end of each class, it has also spawned a market selling everything from fashionable yoga wear to the latest technology in mats, and more.
So can anyone take yoga?
The answer, in a word, is yes!
More people than ever are unrolling a yoga mat to downward dog their way to better health and discover some of the following five benefits of doing yoga:
1:Yoga is a welcoming practice: All you need to participate in a yoga class is a mat, and yourself. Leave the shoes at the door, and your worries at home. Just be willing to listen to the instructor and do your best. Improvement comes with time and practice and the best part is that many participants keep their eyes closed while practicing, so no one will be looking at you.
2: There are a ton of yoga styles from which to choose: From relaxation yoga, to power yoga, prenatal yoga, hot yoga, and more. Participants can select the type of class they like best, or try them all to figure out which ones suit your needs. Better yet, mix it up. Try a power yoga class one day, then opt for deep stretching and relaxation class the next.
3:Yoga classes are for people of all ages and fitness types: Unlike other sports or fitness trends that may target a niche market, one yoga class can include participants in all age ranges, from teens to folks in their 70s or even 80s, all seeking improved health.
4: You don’t need previous experience: Yoga is a personal practice, meaning participants do what their body will allow them to do during a given session. Aim to try to do more each time, but yogis always encourage participants to listen to their body and go where it will allow them to go that day.
5: Stronger body and mind: Though it might seem like a feel good fluff session to the uninitiated, attend one yoga class and you’ll soon see it is a total body workout with postures that use one’s bodyweight to strengthen the core, the spine, the legs, chest, arms, and more. Yoga participants feel stronger, have improved digestion, flexibility, balance and breathing. Oh, and the previously mentioned zen feeling you get after a class… well, it just can’t be beat.