5 Benefits of Yoga

May 29, 2016
By Lauren Gutierrez

Om (ah-oh-mmm): Chanted before and after yoga. Mantra for meditation. Vibration and sound of the universe. Frequency that tunes us into our connection to other living beings, nature, and the universe.

Korcheva, Boryana. Lotus 2. 2015. Drawing – Acrylic on Paper. United States.

1. Reduced Stress

Yoga focuses on moving with the breath. The breath should make an ocean-like sound when exhaled through the nose. This is called ujjayi pranayama.

2. Decreased Pain

The low impact, fluid movements that warm up the body in yoga can help to alleviate joint pain and muscle stiffness. Poses like cobra strengthen the back while a pose like butterfly opens the hips.

3. Increased Flexibility

Through practice, yoga promotes flexibility through poses like forward bends that stretch the legs and pigeon pose that lengthens the hip flexor muscles.There tends to be a lot of focus on the hips because they are the gateway between the lower and upper half of the body.

4. Weight Management

The rhythmic movements increase blood flow and heart rate which burns calories. Motions like yogi bicycle crunches and chaturanga also tone abs and arms.

5. Mindfulness and Positivity

Yoga teaches you to focus on the present moment and leave everything else at the door. The hardest part is having the discipline to arrive on your mat and from there it is about surrendering to the poses and breath. Bringing a positive intention for coming to class will leave you feeling like new.

Korcheva, Boryana. Tree/Vrksasana. 2015. Drawing – Acrylic on Paper. United States.

Namasté (nah-mas-tay): My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.