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Yoga

Stretching Your Body and Your Mind

Why do you people do yoga? There’s no doubt that modern life can be incredibly stressful. There are meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, e. mails to write and so on. That stress isn’t necessarily good for your body. After all, your body is used to equating stress to life-or-death situations: being chased by a lion, for example. Your body goes into overdrive and, as a result, there compromises made to your health that, over time, can add up. If you’re looking for a little Zen to balance out that stress, then yoga might be the right move for you.

To be sure, yoga is good for more than de-stressing. It stretches out your muscles, it keeps you limber and flexible, and it keeps your joints in fine shape. This all assumes, of course, that you are conducting your yoga practice under some kind of direction (self-directed yoga can, on occasion, lead to injuries). In most cases, however, yoga is not a workout necessarily—in fact, most yoga routines actually lead to a decrease in heart beats per minute. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily—it’s just a reminder that you should be clear about what you want to use yoga for. Make no mistake: that decrease in heart rate may be as good for your body as a vigorous workout.

How Do You Do Yoga?

Yoga can be accomplished just about anywhere, provided you have room for your body to move. In most cases, all you need is a yoga mat. These mats are generally 2 ft x 7 ft and somewhat sticky. You want that texture. Another thing about yoga: it’s almost always performed in bare feet—yet another reason you want your own mat. In any case, your yoga instructor (sometimes it’s a video) will give you instructions on the poses to assume. You’ll be instructed to hold those poses for a certain amount of time before moving on to the next.

When it comes to yoga, it’s very important to remember, do not stretch to the point of pain. If you feel pain, you’re doing it wrong. That said, there are some common yoga poses that are challenging, especially to novices. In order to tackle these poses, it’s recommended that you proceed quite slowly:

  • Mountain Pose: This is the basic foundation of all poses: You stand with your feet together, your arms out, and your head up. This is the basic foundation pose, so stand as straight and long as you can and breath easy.
  • Downward Facing Dog: This pose is definitely more challenging, but it’s also one of the most common yoga poses. Start with your hands and feet on the floor and lift your buttocks into the air. Try to make yourself into a kind of upside down V, so your front is straight and your legs are straight.
  • Triangle Pose: In this position, your legs make a triangle (because you stand with your legs far apart) and you arms make a triangle…eventually. Once your legs are apart, spread your arms out straight. Then, using your waist as a pivot point, rotate your upper body down until your hand reaches the floor.



There are, of course, many more yoga poses out there—almost too many to count. Your yoga instructor will have a better idea of what poses might work best for you.

What are the Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga are, in short, far reaching. You can improve your flexibility not only now, but also as you age. In fact, many doctors actively prescribe yoga to older patients in order to keep them limber. Yoga can also significantly reduce your stress level, leading to an increased immune response among other benefits. Yoga can also prevent other sports or training-related injuries.

In other words, you should definitely be putting yoga on your training list. To find out more about yoga, be sure to check out extensive collection of body contouring articles and resources.

related

statistics

9+

a popular activity

According to some studies, 9.5% of U.S. adults have tried yoga.

20+

a growing trend

Year over year, yoga generally grows at a rate around 20%

43+

a personal place

Somewhere around 43% of those who practice yoga do so in their own homes.


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