The concept of yoga is very old, and people all across the world are practicing it. Presently, 11 million Americans are said to be benefited from yoga. The westernized classes of yoga concentrate mainly on performing physical postures, which are also known as asanas. Yoga also includes learning breathing mechanisms and meditation. Some classes teach the way of relaxing, while many others train people to explore new movements of the body. Many movements are found to be beneficial for a healthy body.
Some myths about the yoga, such as compulsion to stretch whether a person is weak or strong, have stopped people from joining and reaping the health benefits of yoga. However, yoga is all about improving the elasticity of body at any age. It is performed with utmost care. The lactic acid in the body which is responsible for muscle stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue gets released from the muscles and increases the smoothness in joints. It also stretches soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons and the fascia sheath.
The benefits of yoga became visible within a few days or weeks. Some of the postures such as vigorous ashtanga and power yoga help in improving muscle tone, while lyengar yoga gives strength. Poses like Downward Dog, Upward Dog and Plank provide strength to the upper body. Taking long breaths strengthen hamstrings, quadriceps and abdominal muscles.
The increase in flexibility and power also increases the endurance for the body. Standing and sitting postures require strength. This will also make the person aware about bending body correctly and thereby reduces the risk of injuries.
There are many benefits of yoga such as long breathing improves the capacity of lung and finally results in increased endurance capacity. However, yoga cannot be completely differentiated from aerobic exercise. Performing yoga in a closed heated space is equal to practicing aerobics.
Yoga also helps in alleviating stress, calming the mind, increasing the levels of concentration and making a person feel happy and enthusiastic. Yoga lowers blood pressure and benefits people having heart related diseases. It decreases the level of cholesterol and triglyceride, and strengthens the immune system.
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