Have you tried yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice with origins stretching back thousands of years in India. It is designed to help achieve a more positive outlook on life and a focused, permanent sense of serenity and peace. The word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union’ and ‘union with the divine.’ Yoga brings the body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation. Both yoga and Pilates improve muscular and postural strength.
Only recently have I begun to practice yoga on a regularly basis. Because I suffer with my lower back, I find yoga not only provides great stress release and relaxation, it really helps me to stretch out the kinks, improve my flexibility & strength. I still practice my Pilates but I am loving the numerous benefits I am gaining through my yoga practice at home.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should be doing yoga:
1. Better Flexibility: Isn’t it amazing to see folks who can twist themselves in crazy yoga poses or these incredible handstands? Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.
2. Improves Digestion: You may not realize it, but when you exercise you’re not only working your leg and arm muscles. Inside your intestines, there is also a layer of muscle that is constantly contracting to help food waste pass. In yoga, you perform a combination of deep breathing exercises and twisting poses that really massage the organs, works your intestinal muscles, and helps release any trapped toxic stool.
3. Improves Posture: Yoga is one of the best ways to fix poor posture since each pose aims to get your body back into proper alignment without forcing you into unnatural positions. By the way, I’m not just talking about a straighter back. Yoga poses require your entire body to work together, which means everything from your neck to your shoulders, back, and lower body needs to be properly aligned.
4. Improve Strength: With yoga, you only use your own bodyweight as resistance. Since yoga requires you to enter into and hold various positions, you will naturally strengthen your muscles. While just about every yoga pose helps your body to build strong muscles, some of the best include planks, bakasana, and various headstands.
5. Better Sleep: Doing yoga can actually help you get better sleep. Yoga helps to relax the nervous system, which is the part of your body responsible for a restful sleep. There are specific poses you can do that are known to help people sleep more soundly. Try uttanasana, halasana, or savasana before tucking yourself under the covers. These should put your body into a relaxed state, making it easier for you to sleep.
6. Better Sex: All we can say is…put it in practice & see for youself! LOL!!!
First of all, let’s begin with improved flexibility. Marinate on that thought for a minute. The longer you do yoga the more flexible you will become. The more flexible you become the more poses (both on the mat and in the bedroom) you will be able to do. You’ll have more strength, more balance, and more flexibility, which all translates to better performance.
In addition, yoga helps reduce anxiety and increases body awareness and confidence in addition to speeding the release of hormones that boost arousal and increase blood flow to the genital area. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga seriously enhances a woman’s experience in the bedroom via greater lubrication, and more powerful orgasms as a result of strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Maleka Beal is a health coach and co-founder of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education. To learn more, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram @malekabeal.