For those of you that have followed me on Facebook the past few years, you are aware that I enjoy exercising. It is a part of my lifestyle. I have taken yoga classes before, then stopped for about a year. I was doing cardio workouts, mostly Zumba and speed walking. Recently, I found a yoga class at the gym that I like. It is not too hard, I find it relaxing, it includes simple poses, lots of stretches, observing your breathing, and just the right amount of challenge. I would usually pass on yoga for a class that would burn more calories. I looked up the info recently and you only burn about 200 calories in one hour of light yoga, which is not very high, but the health benefits are good. I have taken yoga once a week for the past two months, and I am really starting to appreciate it and look forward to the class. Yoga helps me de-stress, I really try to clear my mind, which is not easy for me to do. I was so relaxed towards the end of the class today that I felt I was dosing off a bit (ok, I was also a bit tired, haha).
One of the main reasons I like yoga is the awareness it helps create of our muscles, organs, and the importance of stretching and of breathing with intention. Have you noticed that unless you are exercising, you don’t really stretch throughout the day or take a breath with intention, let alone an exhale with intention? I try to stretch daily. I see our kitties stretch throughout the day. As humans, we go about our busy days and don’t stretch, resulting in tension and stress. According to MayoClinic.com, yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises with controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve heart function. It can help improve your fitness through flexibility, balance, and strength.
So, if you want to de-stress and improve your fitness (who doesn’t?), you may want to give yoga a try. Don’t worry about the poses, you will learn those in time. You can go at your own pace and challenge yourself at your own level (don’t overdo it at the first class). If you are not a member at a gym or go to a yoga studio, perhaps try your local YMCA or community center. Many cities or local schools offer yoga classes for free or at a minimal cost. You can also buy a yoga video and try doing it at home.
Do you take a yoga class regularly? Or practice yoga on your own? Which is your favorite yoga pose? Share your comments about yoga.
Hugs….or in this case “namaste” my friends,