From elite athletes to elderly clients with arthritis, yoga can enhance flexibility, strength and endurance – as well as reduce stress, help digestion and aid sleep.
It’s no secret that yoga is at the forefront of leading trends in the fitness industry, with more and more people of all ages and fitness levels continuing to make it part of their weekly fitness regime. And that’s the key: people of all ages and fitness levels. Yoga can and should be practiced by everyone! But why?
Yoga offers both flexibility and strength training, promoting long isometric holds and muscular endurance for the entire body, and especially the core muscles. However, beyond the physical benefits, perhaps its greatest function is to enable those who practice it to slow down and link breath to movement – an action that serves to not only reconnect us to our bodies, but also to greatly reduce stress, help digestion and aid sleep. Yoga has the power to help athletes better their game and at the same time help those with arthritis increase their mobility and pain-free days. Yoga truly is for everyone.
As with all elements of the fitness industry, there are many types and styles of yoga, from power and hot yoga, to gentle classes and one-on-one. In the same way that you have probably tried many different ways to incorporate the right cardio workout for you into your training and life – some love to dance, others go crazy for cycling or running – it is important to find the style of yoga that resonates with you and what you are trying to achieve in your practice. It also takes time to find a teacher that you connect with. If you are still resisting your first class, or have only tried one or two without success, do yourself a favour: get back out there, take a chance and try something new. Isn’t that what we always tell our clients?
Lisa Greenbaum holds her E-RYT 500 in yoga and is the Program Development Manager for YogaFit Australia and Director of YogaFit Canada.