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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Consider Yoga For Fitness

As we all think about New Year's Resolutions in the coming weeks, I plan to share some exercise routines or diets that might work well for you.  Yoga is a wonderful way to exercise as it increases your flexibility, reduces stress, tones your muscles and can be done by any age group.  Even young children or older adults can benefit from and enjoy yoga. 

Originating in India, yoga is a traditional physical and mental discipline incorporating different poses or asanas, with importance placed on breathing, relaxing or meditating.  There are several different types of yoga taught in the U. S. but some of the more common are: Hatha which is more gentle and flowing, Bikram or hot yoga, Iyengar which concentrates on correct position and lengthy poses, Vinyasa which is more vigorous, and Ashtanga which is very intense.  No matter which type you try, the poses are basically the same.  If you decide to give yoga a try, look for a Yoga I or a beginner's class taught by a certified teacher.  A certified, attentive teacher will help you safely correct your poses and get the most from your workout. 

Barry and I had private yoga lessons for several years but time constrictions forced us to give up our class time.  I still practice yoga at home nearly every day to prevent the lower back pain I sometimes suffer.  Barry saw similar benefits from his various aches and pains but doesn't incorporate yoga into his schedule nearly enough now.  If you men think yoga is a workout for women and sissies, think again.  Many of the poses require quite a bit of strength and tone every muscle you have.  Also, many sports are now recognizing the benefits of having a flexible and strong body.  Barry will certainly agree that our yoga classes were some of the hardest workouts he's ever had. 

My daughter liked going to yoga with us but our son found the poses difficult due to his inflexibility.  One of the best benefits we all got from our class was learning to conciously relax our whole body and be calm.  Even young children need to learn to handle stress and yoga is an excellent tool to use. 

Yoga classes are taught just about everywhere so you shouldn't have trouble finding one you like.  I hope yoga works for you.  Namaste.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, you are such an inspiration! If only I had time to print your recipes, write a grocery list, go to the store, cut and prepare, cook supper, do a bit of yoga in front of the fire before collapsing, I could consider myself a success!
    Seriously, thank you for sharing!