Tired of jogging everyday to stay fit? Sick of hitting the gym to work out? Bored of cycling around your neighborhood? Try yoga instead.
Yoga is becoming more and more popular as a great fitness regime and alternative to various aerobic exercises. It consists of balance and flexibility postures, stretches, deep breathing and meditation.
I started doing yoga last summer, and after just two months I noticed that I had become much more flexible. For the first time since kindergarten, I could lie down and easily touch my feet to the back of my head. Even though, at least for me, yoga was much less tiring and intense than aerobic workouts, it has a long list of health benefits to go with it.
According to Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of Yoga for Pain Relief and editor in chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, the three main benefits of yoga (for young women in particular) are reducing stress, improving body image, and better sleep.
“Yoga helps people fall asleep faster and get higher quality sleep. This is no minor benefit — people who sleep more/better have better focus and concentration, have better control over their emotions and impulses, are less likely to gain weight, and have stronger immune functioning.”
Dr. McGonigal added that studies have shown that yoga not only helps improve your mood, but also lowers stress hormones and makes the brain more resilient to chronic stress, anxiety, and depression.
So what are you waiting for? Enroll in a yoga class nearby. You’ll be surprised at what it does for both your body and your mind!
Dr. Kelly McGonigal