Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Benefits of Yoga

I am all about sharing. I found this wonderful article in Yoga Journal about the vast benefits of yoga so I have to share it with you all.

From Yoga Journal's Yoga for Beginners

Flexibility- Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you will probably won't be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if your stick with it, you'll notice gradually loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You'll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight hips stain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.

Strength- Strong Muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from such conditions as arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

I have students who come to me all the time that have muscles mass and no range of motion with their muscles. Many can not even touch their toes. But when they have a few sessions and see themselves getting more flexible they are always so grateful and excited. The light bulb goes on and they start to understand why it is important to have flexible muscles and well as strong ones.

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