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Yoga’s Positive Effects

Yoga was started by the Hindu in ancient India around the 5th Century BC. Today it is practiced world wide for relaxation and health purposes. Here in America, more than 20 million of us are practicing yoga.

 How Yoga Effects Your Body

Yoga effects your body in many positive ways:

  1. Improved Brain Function
  2. Lowers Stress Levels
  3. Alters Gene Expression
  4.  Increases Flexibility
  5.  Lowers Blood Pressure
  6.  Improves Lung Capacity
  7.  Improves Sexual Function
  8.  Reduces Neck Pain
  9.  Relieves Anxiety
  10.  Relieves Back Pain
  11.  Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
  12.  Improves Sense of Balance
  13.  Strengthens Bones
  14.  Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
  15.  Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Some of these changes, such as stress relief, are effective right away and after each session. Others, like back pain, can be reduced or altogether disappear after a few months, as long as you do the correct poses to help the problem. There are a few, such as weight management, that come after a few years, when you have made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle that comes with regularly practicing yoga. I always wear wide yoga headbands.

 Types of Yoga

There are many different types of yoga, ranging from a slow relaxed pace to fast and challenging. The eight most common types practiced today are:

  • Anusara,
  • Ashtanga,
  • Bikram
  •  Hatha
  •  Hot Yoga
  •  Iyengar,
  •  Restorative, and
  •  Vinyasa.

Anusara is a type of intense workout for the body as well as the mind. Ashtanga is physically demanding. Bikram is one of the most widely practiced types of yoga, and is held in a heated room to make you seat profusely. Hatha is a class of the most basic poses and is very relaxing for your mind. Hot Yoga is basically another name for Bikram, it relaxes you but is held in a heated area to make you sweat a lot more than normal. Iyengar is both physically and mentally demanding and uses props such as chairs and rope. Restorative is relaxing and does not require much for physical effort. It uses props such as blankets. Vinyasa is meant to work you physically with one pose flowing directly into the next almost non-stop.

Although it will not give you the defined muscles and body mass of a bodybuilder, if done regularly along with a healthy diet, yoga will get your body in shape and keep it that way. The poses performed when practicing yoga work your legs, glutes, arms, back, chest, core, and shoulders. All these muscles get worked without putting any stress on your joints the way a workout with free weights tends to do. It is a great way to burn calories and relax your mind at the same time.