5 Biggest Questions About Yoga
Is Yoga Good for Flexibility?
If you’re trying to get more flexible, you’re not alone.
There are many reasons why people want to improve their flexibility. One of the most common is mobility.
With greater flexibility, you will find it much easier to simply get around in day to day life.
Whether your hobbies involve strength, cardio, or some form of running, jumping, or climbing, flexibility is definitely something you will benefit from improving.
As people age, flexibility also becomes a critical factor in protecting against injury.
But, flexibility can actually help everyone, at every age, protect themselves from muscle strains and tears.
It can even help prevent broken bones!
So, whatever your reasons are for wanting to get more flexible, there are a few different ways you can go about accomplishing your goal.
Yoga is definitely one of them that deserves to be near the top of the list.
In fact, one of the primary benefits of yoga is increasing your balance and flexibility at the same time.
Pair this with its other benefits, like increased muscle tone and even fat burn, and you will surely love the addition of yoga to your daily routine.
Like anything, consistency is key.
You might not see results from just one yoga session, but taking the time to slowly stretch your body out with a 30-60 minute yoga session each day will definitely have you noticing a change in just a few days time.
In a matter of weeks, you could be doing the splits, depending on where you started from and which muscle groups your stretches focus on.
One of the most important aspects of any sort of physical routine is making sure that you give your body the chance to properly warm up first.
A warm-up, which will mostly just consist of more stretches and possibly some light cardio, will get the blood flowing and ensure you can sink into a stretch gradually.
This will help you stop yourself from getting hurt or straining a muscle, which will only contradict your goals.
The other thing is to cool down properly.
After a good yoga session, make sure you allow yourself to calm down, relax, and stretch everything out thoroughly before you get back to your daily routine.
This, too, will boost your recovery and help you avoid injury on your path to increased flexibility.
Is Yoga Good for Lower Back Pain?
Yoga is a great way to stretch out your body and increase your flexibility.
It has many benefits, ranging from improving your muscle strength and tone to even helping you burn fat.
Many turn to yoga when they want to improve their balance as well.
It has benefits for every person of every age and background.
No matter your athletic ability or lifestyle, you can definitely find perks in the world of yoga. But, can yoga help with lower back pain?
Among the many benefits of yoga, lower back pain is one of the primary reasons why people pick it up.
With lower back pain being such a common issue around the world due to sedentary lifestyles and general poor posture, yoga has become a go-to solution.
In fact, certain yoga poses can not only help stretch out the lower back for relief but also help strengthen the entire abdomen and core to help promote better posture in every aspect of your life.
These things mean that yoga won’t just help you relieve yourself of any lower back pain you are experiencing, but it can also help prevent it in the future.
Plus, a strong abdomen and the good posture that comes with it will also make a positive impact on many other areas of your life.
So, how do you use yoga to improve lower back pain?
The first step is identifying what poses would best benefit your lower back.
The extended child’s pose is definitely one of the best, following by the one-legged king pigeon, the cow pose, and the upward facing dog.
The downward facing dog and the seated forward bend are also simple moves that can help you find relief from your lower back pain.
These poses will all stretch out your back, helping relieve tension.
With repeat and consistent usage, you will be able to feel the progress as your muscles grow more relaxed. Increased flexibility throughout your legs, back, shoulders, and arms will definitely help you in avoiding back pain in the future.
Pair these poses with ones that will boost your core strength and you will begin to notice major difference in how you hold your body and, therefore, how your body feels.
What are the Non-Fitness Benefits of Yoga?
The physical benefits yoga can bring to your body are no secret. Increased flexibility, balance, muscle tone, and even fat burn top the list of the many reasons why people use yoga in their daily routines.
But, that’s not where the power of yoga ends.
Incorporating yoga into your routine can be an extremely valuable choice, even if you don’t care to improve any of the aforementioned aspects of your lifestyle.
In fact, yoga has great benefits for your health and internal wellbeing that you may not have known before.
At the top of the list, you might find it interesting that recent studies back yoga’s ability to help regulate your health appetite.
In fact, the study found that people who practice yoga regularly do not snack as much as those who don’t. Instead, they are better at “intuitive eating” (eating only when truly hungry).
This is linked to yoga’s focus on breathing. Yoga instructors note that by learning to focus more on your breath and inner sensations, you become more aware of your hunger and feelings of satiety.
Ever wanted to get faster at thinking on your feet?
Yoga will help you do it, even more so than running can. While some types of exercise encourage you to tune out, yoga is all about staying in the moment and being present.
In fact, yoga practice can even be associated with restructuring inside the brain encouraging you to think more quickly.
You’ll be more attentive as a result and able to remember things better.
The relaxation aspects of yoga are definitely some of the better known, but they should not be underestimated.
Being able to relax and let go of stress in today’s busy, screen-filled world is an ever-growing perk of the practice of yoga.
By practicing yoga even for just 10 minutes per day, you will begin to feel massive decreases in your regular stress levels.
In turn, this can lower your blood pressure, improve your heart health, and make you a happier person overall.
With all of these benefits, you really have no excuse not to start practicing yoga right away.
What Should I Eat Before and After Yoga?
If you want to make the most of any sort of heath or fitness routine, you definitely need to look at the entire picture.
This perhaps couldn’t be more true than when you are participating in a whole-body routine like yoga, which is all about your body, mind, and spirit.
Aligning these three things will take careful consideration that has to go beyond your yoga mat.
And, diet is one of those major aspects.
So, if you are looking to get healthy, you may be wondering: What sort of foods should you be eating before and after your yoga sessions?
This is actually an interesting question and a common concern, so it’s worth looking deeper into.
The first thing to think about is your goals. While your gym buddies might down a pre-workout shake and emphasize protein powder, people usually see yoga in a different light.
Yoga is not body building, but it can definitely help you tone up your muscles and burn off fat.
But, it can also be used to increase your balance and flexibility.
Best of all, it can do all of these things at the same time.
The question you need to ask yourself is, what are you trying to accomplish?
If weight loss is your goal, you should opt to eat foods that will give you energy, like natural fruits and vegetables.
These will also supply you with the vitamins and minerals you need.
On the other hand, if you are trying to tone up, giving yourself a good source of protein can help you meet that goal.
But, you probably don’t need an excessive amount–especially if yoga is the core of your workout routine.
Instead, look to the number of calories you are consuming.
It’s always a good idea to fuel your workout with healthy energy, like that provided by fruits or a healthy shake.
However, yoga isn’t considered a high-intensity workout.
Therefore, it’s not something you need to obsess over.
Many people actually do yoga in a fasted state, allowing them to tap into their body’s fat burning abilities in order to fuel their workout.
Others will prefer eating a energy bar or even a complete meal before they hit the mat.
Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: listening to your body.
Yoga is all about tuning into what your body needs, so take the time to think about how you feel each day before you decide what to consume for your session.
Does Yoga Burn Calories?
When most people think about burning calories, they might picture a high-intensity workout routine or even a bicycle ride through the park. Very few will find that their mind goes straight to a yoga session.
However, yoga is actually a very effective calorie burner and it can even boost the speed of your metabolism.
1) Choose The Right Style
If you are trying to use yoga to burn calories, you definitely want to choose the right style of yoga in order to aid you in accomplishing your goal. In truth, there are many different styles of yoga in existence.
The three top calorie burners are Ashtanga, Bikram, and Vinyasa yoga.
All three of these styles are coveted for their extreme calorie burning potential.
How many calories you can burn will depend on your age, weight, and of course, the length and intensity of the session.
2) Decide On Your Goals
Yoga has many benefits and calorie burn is just one of them.
Most people who venture into the world of yoga do so because of its ability to increase your balance, flexibility, and muscle tone. In reality, you can reap all of these benefits at once.
But, knowing what goals you want to achieve (i.e., increase flexibility vs. lose weight) will help you focus on the style and specific poses that will help you reach your goal the fastest.
3) Always Warm-Up
No matter which type of yoga you dive into or even what your goals are, never underestimate the importance of a proper warm-up.
Without one, you could end up jumping into a pose and straining a muscle.
Even a basic beginner pose could end up hurting you if you go from sitting at a desk all day to jumping right on your yoga mat.
Always give your body the chance to warm up, relax, and get your blood flowing before you begin any sort of routine.
4) Try It Daily
A daily yoga session ranging from 15 to 60 minutes will bring you the best results.
That’s because a daily session, whether you do the same type of yoga every day or mix it up, will allow your body to increase its flexibility the fastest.
Just doing yoga once or twice a week generally won’t help you, but it will still burn calories.
Figure out what’s important to you and then decide what will fit your lifestyle.