In America, yoga is often advertised as a relaxing workout that will give you a model’s abs or a gymnast’s flexibility. But traditionally, yoga has always been about much more than just a workout.
A yogi’s lifestyle includes breath exercises (pranayamas), purification exercises (kriyas), meditation, and so much more.
Benefits Of Yoga
A good yoga routine offers:
- Peace of mind
- An ability to relax and center oneself
- Reduced risk of injury and sprains
- Greater flexibility
- Increased strength
- Improved posture
- Improved sleep
Check out one of Kimberly’s favorite yoga poses in her article, “Take Control and Dig Your Roots into Life: Yoga Tree Pose.”
The following tips will help you get the most from your yoga practice:
- Do find a class with a respected instructor. While instructional videos and websites can be a great supplement to one’s yoga practice, a good teacher will ensure you build habits that are healthy and safe.
- Do research the different styles of yoga (ashtanga, hatha, iyengar, kundalini, etc) and pick one that fits your needs and goals.
- Do wear loose, comfortable clothes.
- Do pay close attention to your body as you perform yoga poses. Notice your breath, your heartbeat and your muscles. Yoga is a practice of awareness.
Try these “4 Easy Core Strengthening Yoga Workouts” if you want to work on your abs this summer!
Ensure that your practice is healthy and hazard-free by following these guidelines:
- Don’t overexert yourself.
- Don’t eat before practice.
- Don’t compare yourself with others in the class—your practice belongs to you and you only.
- Don’t give up if it seems hard at first. Your body probably won’t be used to some of the positions you’re being introduced to. Just be patient and take your time.
- Don’t practice the poses before you know what you are doing. Improper practice can lead to strain or injury.
One Step Further
Once you’ve found a class you like, stick with it. You’ll soon discover that the rewards of a dedicated yoga practice go far beyond that of the average workout.
This article was originally posted on Zliving.com
Photography by Matthew Kane
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