Yoga is an ideal form of exercise. Yet unlike other forms, Yoga offers the full range of fitness benefits. It develops strength, stamina, flexibility, and vitality.
The gentle stretching action involved in each yoga posture promotes a gradual, safe increase in the flexibility of the whole body.
The thousands of yoga postures were created to work every single muscle in the body. And flexibility is developed gradually, safely, and always at your own pace. Since none of us is alike, the effects of Yoga vary from person to person. You don’t have to be physically fit. Or, spiritually inclined to experience these benefits. Yoga boosts vitality, and enables recovery.
- Yoga has rejuvenative properties that many are claiming cure everything from diabetes to cancer. While these may seem like wild claims, there’s no denying the benefits.
- Yoga reconnects you with your own Power.
- Yoga will enable you to discover the sacred link that ties body with mind, mind with soul, inner world with the outer world, and material achievement with spiritual aspiration.
- Yoga restores the body-mind to its fundamental state of well-being, ease, and vibrant alertness.
- Yoga can create a sculpted body, perfect mind control, and perfect peace with one’s own Self, the world, nature and God.
- Yoga is wonderfully nourishing, working beyond the superficial, to the deepest core of our being.
- Yoga purifies, and cleanses every muscle, joint, organ, all parts of the body. The skin, and eyes are the external reflections of this internal good health.
- Yoga develops muscular strength, and cardiovascular fitness.
- Yoga produces an alert, relaxed, and tranquil state of being.
Depending on the style, Yoga can promote both cardiovascular, and muscular stamina. Many styles of yoga promote ‘Active’ poses. Through the continuity of action, or vinyasa, cardiovascular stamina is developed. Through contraction of the muscles while holding the postures, muscular stamina is developed. Yoga while not intentionally aerobic, can increase the heart rate at certain points until greater fitness is developed.
Yoga goes beyond muscular strength. You will find that you develop muscular stamina as a result of working deeper into the poses. Muscles will lengthen, as opposed to contracting And, a deep strength will become apparent. Hatha Yoga demands muscle use which in turn increases the efficiency of the muscle fibers. The body becomes toned instead of becoming larger.
If you practice with focused attention you will notice a feeling of deep but alert relaxation when you are finished. However, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, the feeling of tiredness may take longer to go away. But it will. At all times it is important to realize that our bodies are different, every minute of everyday.
Each yoga practice will be different than the one before. And, the one after. Listen, honor and respect where you are at the moment. This is not a competition. This is a warning. Make the necessary changes in your personal life that will promote the benefits of your Yoga practice. Be kind, and gentle with yourself. And, set realistic goals if you plan on making lifestyle changes.
It is inevitable that increased circulation will be a byproduct of your Yoga practice. You are moving. You are generating heat. As you build muscle your body naturally tones. You are sending fresh, and continuous blood supply (oxygen) to every organ, tissue, muscle and joint in your body. Not to mention your skin. You are being purified of toxic wastes, allowing the nutrients in. There is nothing in your body that isn’t benefiting from your Yoga practice.
All of this leads to increased vitality, and improved health which translates to an enthusiasm, and appreciation of life. The cosmetic effect will be obvious. As circulation improves, so does skin tone and skin quality. This is further enhanced by the vitality of the internal organs, especially the liver, and kidneys in keeping the body healthy and vital.
Yoga affects the mind as much as the body. It improves concentration, increases alertness, precipitates perceptual, and rational clarity, cultivates calmness, develops equanimity, instills confidence, and nourishes contentment. These benefits all depend on presence of mind during practice.
Yoga goes deeper than the mind, penetrating to the core of our being, to our very soul. But, Yoga must be approached openly without ambition, pride or any specific objectives, or predetermined ideals. It is about self-knowledge.
It inspires deep self-acceptance, provides continuous self-validation, and self-empowerment. In short: self-love. Manifesting itself as a genuine, spontaneous compassion, and generosity for, and interest in all beings, and our humble place in the Universe.