The truth is that yoga is anything you want it to be.
There is A LOT of stretching in yoga, but…what’s really going on when you stretch one muscle is that you’re actually flexing another. This relationship is known as “extensors and flexors.” When the extensor muscle relaxes, the flexor muscle strengthens.
These muscle groups are known as skeletal, forming around the bones to bend and straighten joints while creating motion and activity in the other surrounding muscles. Muscle groups are being toned and shaped, while internal organs are being purified and massaged.
By adding conscious movement, your body and mind will stretch and strengthen. It’s up to you how much you want to either relax into a pose or activate and strengthen your muscles. Just be mindful that you are approaching each pose with grace and ease.
Whatever the style of yoga it is that you practice, you are dedicating time to connect the mind, body, and breath.
Much like life, yoga is not a destination but rather a journey that unfolds before your very eyes. Be the silent observer of your body and allow yourself to watch and appreciate the amazing things it is capable of doing and you may surprise yourself with what you as a whole being can achieve.
Yoga can be helpful in weight loss in a number of ways; the most obvious perhaps has to do with the number of calories you burn on a Yoga mat doing some of the more vigorous varieties such as power Yoga and Ashtanga.
However many people that take to milder Yoga practices such as gentle asana and breathing techniques also drop weight, so it’s more than just burning calories.
Because of stress’s role in overeating and in the formation of fat, Yoga’s proven ability to fight stress (and lower Cortisol levels) is another aspect of its effectiveness as an aid to weight loss.
Yoga may also help with weight loss through its focus on seeing clearly…before you can change something, you must acknowledge it for what it is.
Gentle stretching and relaxation is the way forward!…namaste’
Do these poses every day and you’ll find your posture improving very fast. As your muscles stretch, strengthen and lengthen, you may even find you’ve ‘grown’ an inch or so!
- Mountain Pose is really how we should be standing all the time, so if you can do this pose in correct alignment with ease, your posture is probably already pretty good! Most people, however, find this posture to be challenging, as it requires your whole body to be engaged.
- Tree Pose – A slumped over posture makes balancing poses very difficult, as when we slouch our body weight tends to carry us forward. When we learn to stand tall and balanced in Tree Pose, we can carry this feeling into our everyday posture.
- Downward Facing Dog is a great pose for improving your posture, as it stretches and lengthens the spine and opens your shoulders, thus reversing that rounded, hunched over look.
- Plank Pose – Sometimes our slouching stems from having a weak core that lacks the strength to hold us upright. Plank Pose will strengthen your core, which will take some of the stress off your spine, allowing you to hold yourself up straight with ease.
- Cobra Pose and Half Cobra Pose gently stretch the spine and open the chest, reversing rounded shoulders and upper backs.
- Cow Face Pose is an intense chest and shoulder opener that will quickly lengthen all the muscles. This helps relieve tightness after long hours hunching over a desk and steering wheel.