More than just allowing you to twist and turn into a pretzel – yoga’s countless health benefits will extend far beyond your workout routine. Haven’t already hit the mat yet? Here’s why you should…
Working out at the gym and lifting heavy weights can do wonders when it comes to torching fat and building muscle – but this can also lead to over-developed muscles, tightness and limited mobility, which, ultimately limits your potential. Adding basic yoga poses will help stretch (as opposed to contract) the muscles. For this reason, countless athletes – including runners and footballers – credit yoga with improving their performance and prolonging their careers.
Poor posture can lead to back and neck pain – and can also cause problems with your joints and muscles, too. Sitting at a desk, staring at computer screens, travelling and slouching on the sofa all contribute to bad posture – but taking time out each day to practice some basic yoga moves that strengthen and support the spine will help you keep your shoulders back and your head up high.
Many of our daily activities – such as walking, getting dressed and hopping in and out of cars – require good balance – but it’s surprising how little time we dedicate to perfecting this. Though it’s a topic usually associated with elderly people, working in some basic yoga moves that work on your balance can be invaluable when it comes to preventing risk of injury. Throw into the mix a gym routine that involves heavy weights and the importance of good balance is skyrocketed. Most compound lifts (think deadlifts, squats and cleans) require good form, stability and balance to be executed correctly, so if you’re looking to up your gym gains and minimise the risks, it’s worth getting to work on your balancing act, pronto!
Feel your mind drifting and your concentration waning? Rather than reaching for the caffeine when you feel your brain getting foggy and a slump coming on – get stretching instead. Studies have found that just 20 minutes of yoga can help improve focus and increase information retention. Boosted brainpower from a bit of bending – what’s not to like about that?
Feel Good Factor
Just a few minutes of yoga practice each day can have a huge effect on your mood. From fighting stress and anxiety to upping your immune function– yoga’s ability to increase serotonin (a chemical that acts to stabilise your mood) and decrease cortisol (better known as the dreaded ‘stress hormone’) means that taking a quick time out to incorporate a few moves into your routine can increase both your happiness levels and your overall wellbeing.
Inspired to hit the mat? These yoga essentials will provide you with optimum comfort while allowing you a maximum range of movement to nail those moves…