While yoga has been used as a system of meditation and exercise in the east for literally thousands of years, it has only really been in the last 20 years or so that yoga has become so phenomenally popular worldwide.
It’s a great way to relax, get supple and exercise the body, but of course it’s not a miracle cure for life’s stresses and strains. Going to a couple of yoga classes on holiday won’t change your life by themselves, but if they inspire you to take up a regular programme of well-instructed yoga back home, then it might well do.
Commitment is the key, as well as following the asanas, or yoga movements, properly. That’s why it’s important to go to a good class to learn the correct posture and technique. While books can be helpful, there’s no replacement for a real, expert teacher.
So why is yoga so good for you?
Helps control weight – as well as burning fat through its exercise benefits, yoga is also useful as a way of reducing appetite, attacking the problem from both angles.
Improves your posture – yoga gives you a better posture, and helps to strengthen the neck, shoulder and back
Helps back pain – along with better posture, yoga can reduce back pain and sciatica, strengthen back muscles and improve flexibility
Mental health – yoga can boost your emotional health through its exercise and meditative aspects and help concentration
Overall fitness – regular yoga not only improves aerobic fitness by increasing the breathing and heart rates but also tackles anaerobic fitness, strengthening resitance, muscle strength, flexibility and stamina.
Yoga masters also say that it has a beneficial effect on your immune system and can be used to treatment specific illness, and while this has not been clinically proven yet, what is clear is that yoga adherents feel healthier, look healthier and find it is an excellent aid to relaxation and inner calm.