Physical Activity With Yoga


Yoga is a physical exercise program that offers a surprising amount of “flexibility” into your routine for feeling and looking better. If you are looking for an exercise program that requires little or no equipment, is easy to learn, and offers stress relief while toning your body, then yoga may be your answer.

Many folks think of yoga as just being a bunch of stretching exercises. However, that is quite a limited idea as yoga is based on core exercises and principles that incorporate intentional breathing awareness that is designed to facilitate a deeper awareness to our entire physical nature.

Depending on the style, some will focus more on gently developing strength in the muscular and cardiovascular system, while others, like Bikram yoga, have been more recently introduced to push the body for potentially faster results. This style literally increases the intensity during the class by creating a very warm, almost hot environment for exercising.

Yoga actually began more than 3,000 years ago in India. The word yoga is Sanskrit, one of the ancient languages of the East. It means to “yoke,” or unite, the mind, body, and spirit. Training your mind body, and breath, while connecting with your spirituality, are the main goals of the yoga lifestyle.

As with any type of physical activity and exercise programs, some fundamentals hold true.

1.Consistency is key. Everyone has a different preference as to the time of day that fits in their schedule to workout. To be successful at staying consistent, we recommend that you pick a time and literally schedule it into your daily or weekly routine. Put in on your agenda just like any other appointment and do not change it.
2.Goals will help keep you motivated as well as give you reference points to measure your successes. It is very important to set a goal right from the beginning that you can accomplish. If you are not sure you can workout more than 2 or 3 times a week, then be sure you take ‘baby steps’ and set up 2 appointments for yourself to accomplish. One of the easiest ways to fail at your program is to set up unrealistic goals – when you begin to slip off the program, it is amazing how quickly your ‘little voice’ will start the sabotage conversation!
3.Break it Up to keep it fresh. Experiment with working out at different times of the day and find the time that fits your schedule and energy level best. Generally it is best to workout in the first part of your day where you are less likely to find ‘distractions’ to get in the way.
4.Workout buddies are a positive influence and motivator for keeping the session fun as well formalizing the workout like it is an appointment that you have set with someone else beside just yourself.

A once-a-month yoga workout may provide some stress relief, but for benefits like increased flexibility and stamina, you should build to practicing yoga three or four times a week. It generally takes about 4 to 6 weeks of regular exercise at least 3 days a week for your body to begin to release the endorphins that make exercise such an uplifting experience. No matter what you choose as your goal, make sure you reward yourself when you accomplish it and have fun along the way!

This website has a great variety of yoga exercises from beginner to advanced including lots of daily tips:
www.yogajournal.com
This website is one of our favorites for all sorts of well designed equipment and resources for all your physical activities:
www.gaiam.com

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