I have a long-standing remedy
for lifes little aches and pains. Yoga is flourishing
even after hundreds of years for a very simple reason
its a way to get and stay in shape that can be gentle
for beginners and progressively more challenging as fitness
improves. Yoga provides a way to really enjoy a workout while
changing the whole body.
The slow stretching movements
of Yoga can rebalance posture problems that cause back or
other muscle pain. The bending and twisting postures maintain
suppleness in the back while many of the upright, standing
postures improve endurance in the legs and gluteal muscles.
Yoga can also loosen tight knee and ankle joints. Outdoors
enthusiasts like skiers, snowboarders, golfers, runners, tennis
players, horseback riders, bicyclists, or hikers can all benefit
from the improved flexibility and strength that regular Yoga
practice develops. A regular Yoga workout also keeps sports
injuries at bay.
These days, many people are
attracted to Yoga for its spiritual and philosophical
qualities. Focusing on deep breathing and tuning in to the
specific muscle groups working in each posture offers the
added gift of peace and tranquility. But its okay to
approach Yoga on just a physical workout level with the goal
of getting healthier and in better shape. Even though this
seems like sneaking in the back entrance to the discipline
when overlooking the spiritual nature of the practice, just
focus on the moves and doing each one properly and youll
notice rapid improvement in strength and flexibility.
Here are some tips for
incorporating Yoga into your workout plans:
Choose a beginning Yoga
video workout to get the basics down
Take a class from someone
who has the kind of teaching style and expertise you enjoy
Pick a time for your
workout that youll be able to maintain despite a
Take it very slow at
first, being careful not to strain or struggle with the
Yoga postures. If you begin to quiver or shake, youve
gone too far. Your progress will be faster and your experience
much more enjoyable when you let the feedback from your
body tell you how hard to push yourself.
Try to stay focused on
the specific muscle groups you are working in each posture.
If you get distracted and find yourself daydreaming, clear
your head and refocus your energy on the present movement.
The key to staying fit
is to enjoy the process. Take pleasure in each small gain
in your overall fitness and remember that staying fit
and healthy is an ongoing process.