Six Reasons to Make Yoga Part of Your Life

Posted by Carla Bamesberger | 01.27.2016

Everyone has that one friend who encourages them to eat healthier, drink detox smoothies, and get in touch with their inner spiritual yogi. That friend probably uses every opportunity to tell you about how this sport rejuvenates your mind, detoxes your body, and helps you look slimmer. You might get sick of hearing about it and never want to hear the word yoga again. Consider, for a moment, actually humoring this friend. Yoga has many benefits that even your friend might not know about.


Reduce Chance of Injury


Sometimes, events disrupt the natural symmetry of your body. A fall, or regularly carrying a messenger bag are two common ways that we lose this essential symmetry, creating imbalances that often lead to muscles on one side becoming larger than the ones on the adjacent side. These imbalances lead to injury when it comes to kinetic workouts such as running or playing sports.

Yoga helps to restore symmetry and balance, and strengthens muscles evenly. Starting your daily run on the yoga mat can help you keep your body healthy.


Work Muscles Like Never Before


Although it might not look like it, Yoga is an intense power sport. You strengthen muscles through endurance without the kinetic movement of other power sports. When you hold poses, your muscles work hard to sustain the position. At first, these muscles will begin to fatigue before you reach the end of the pose, but become stronger over time. Every pose feels easier to maintain with each subsequent session.


Improve Your Sleep


Sleep matters. When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel fatigued the next day. The downside of sleep loss goes beyond fatigue, however. Sleep loss can also decrease your focus, which increases your risk for work-related injury, making critical errors at work, and even getting into a vehicle accident. Regularly missing out on sleep also increases your risk of depression, diabetes, heart disease, and other health complications.


Light exercise before you hit the sack can help you drift off more quickly, getting you into deep, restful sleep stages faster. You can even find sequences of poses and movements to preform right before sleep. These help relax your body and encourage rest.


Stand Up Straighter


Office work, video games, cooking, and other activities can cause you to unconsciously hunch your shoulders for extended periods every day. Unfortunately, poor posture can cause problems with your spinal alignment, leading to pain in unexpected places. It can even result in a painful jaw disorder called temporomandibular joint disorder.


Yoga can improve your posture. Every movement and pose works key muscles and encourages you to sit up straight. Your muscles will quickly learn and remember these positions, turning them unconscious habits.


Reduce Pain


A high percentage of adults experience back pain, especially lower back pain. Physicians often prescribe therapy and exercise to help alleviate this pain, but overcoming the pain in order to start these workout regimens can feel like an insurmountable challenge. A 2012 study from the Yoga Research Foundation may offer a more appealing solution.


In this study, 80 patients with chronic lower back pain combined physical therapy with structured yoga sessions. After seven days of this intensive program, participants experienced reductions in pain, anxiety, and depressions, as well as seeing improvements in spinal mobility more effectively than physiotherapy exercises.


Improve Your Outlook


Working out regularly causes the brain to release chemicals that promote positive emotions. After each session, you will notice that everything just seems sunnier. Additionally, you will start feeling good about your body. A positive self-image helps you have a more positive outlook.


At Jax, we carry the supplies you need to become an experienced yogi. Stop by a Jax location near you to take a look at the Gaiam yoga products that we carry, including mats, foam blocks, towels, and foam rollers. And don’t forget to check out comfortable, movement-ready clothing from great brands like prAna and Brooks while you’re here! You can also visit Jax online to see what we have in stock.

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