Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
EXERCISE ENTHUSIASTS - THE BENEFITS OF ADDING YOGA
If you're already an exercise enthusiast, you likely have your routine down to a science, and you may see very little reason to alter it. Once you learn about the benefits of yoga, you may think differently. You can't understate the importance of yoga for health, and adding it to your workout plan can help your body and your mind and spirit. Read on to learn more about the ancient practice and how yoga nutrition supplements can help you make the most of your practices.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is a form of exercise that practitioners developed in India roughly 5,000 years ago. It involves moving through yoga stretches called poses to build strength and flexibility. Proper breathing is also a focus of yoga, as is relaxing the body and mind. Through yoga, practitioners seek to not only promote physical but mental health as well. Today, hospitals and long-term care facilities frequently use yoga as part of the therapy for various injuries, illnesses, and diseases, attesting to its many benefits.
PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA
For your physical body, yoga may:
- Increase muscle strength. Yoga flows require you to support your body weight in various positions, allowing you to develop greater total body strength. When performed regularly, yoga may enhance muscle tone.
- Enhance flexibility. Over time, yoga often makes you more limber, increasing your range of motion during other types of activity.
- Improve balance. Holding yoga poses requires you to develop better balance. As you age, this could potentially lower the risk of slip and fall accidents.
- Support cardiovascular health. Although yoga classes are usually not strenuous enough to count as moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, studies have revealed that they may help lower blood pressure levels and minimize the risk of heart disease.
- Reduce pain. Scientific research indicates that yoga may diminish muscle and joint pain in some people.
BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Mind-body yoga has been shown to promote mental health by:
- Decreasing stress. The rhythmic breathing and introspection of yoga relax the body and mind and may help you manage stress better.
- Easing symptoms of depression. Research has suggested that yoga may be beneficial for managing symptoms of depression.
- Diminishing anxiety. Because of its relaxing effects, yoga may help lessen the severity of symptoms related to anxiety disorders.
- Promoting mindfulness. Many professionals encourage mindfulness to promote overall mental health. Mindfulness is tuning out your surroundings and focusing on the present moment. Yoga mindfulness is a crucial part of the practice. You're encouraged to focus on your breathing and what your body is experiencing during a yoga session. Over time, you can carry these skills over into your daily life to practice mindfulness during times of stress.
TYPES OF YOGA CLASSES
There are various types of yoga, including:
- Kundalini yoga focuses on channeling body energy and often includes chanting and singing, and yoga poses.
- Vinyasa, or flow yoga, involves moving through a rhythmic series of poses.
- Hatha yoga typically incorporates poses, breathing exercises, and meditation.
- Ashtanga yoga is a personalized set of specific poses taught in a particular order and repeated from class to class.
- Hot yoga involves practicing in a warm setting.
- Power yoga is higher intensity and moves at a quicker pace.
Some yoga classes are geared toward specific groups. You can find yoga for men and women and courses for seniors and pregnant women. There are classes for people with specific health and wellness goals like yoga for depression or heart health.
YOGA NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTS
A healthy diet and yoga supplements can help you get more out of your practices. Adding a multivitamin to your diet can help ensure that you have adequate supplies of vitamin B12, vitamin C, and magnesium to support energy production. Calcium and vitamin D are also essential to promote bone health. There are also more comprehensive supplements that target balance of mind and clarity to promote easier relaxation when sitting quietly. Body Kitchen has formulated such formula, Body Kitchen Stress Release. It is a combination of natural and clinically-studied ingredients that support anxiety-relief and mental composure.