The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga, by dictionary definition, is a newly popular form of exercise. Many people would like to try yoga, but a lot of people are unaware of how to get started. Here are some of different types of yoga:

1. Power Yoga
Power yoga focuses on strength and heart training. Many poses include push-ups and handstands, toe touches, and side bends, but at a fast pace. Each pose flows to the next, rarely pausing, which causes the heart rate to go into the aerobic rate.

2. Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa yoga focuses on coordination of breath and movement. Long sequences of poses are taught, each one flowing to the next, with a focus on breath.

3. Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is the most practiced form of yoga in America. It is the foundation of all yoga styles, and is best approached in a calm, meditative mood. This is the best place to start with yoga, as it is very easy to learn.

Some people are wary of yoga, or feel that it is too easy of a work out for them. Yoga is actually one of the best forms of exercises for every age and gender. There are many reasons why yoga in beneficial, but here are just a few explained in detail:

1. Improves back pain
One of the causes of back pain is tight hamstrings. Tight hamstrings lead to flatting of the lumbar spine, which causes back pain. Yoga increases flexibility, losing the hamstrings and, therefore, decreasing pressure on the spine. Some poses also help to loosen the neck and shoulders, decreasing pain in those areas.

2. Improves bone health
To prevent osteoporosis, doctors recommend weight-bearing exercises. In many yoga poses, you hold your own weight. Poses such as Downward Facing Dog put weight on the arms bones, strengthening one of the areas of the body most prone to osteoporosis fractures.

3. Aids with depression and anxiety
Studies done at Boston University and Harvard have proven that one hour of yoga can lead to a 27% increase in the neurotransmitter GABA. People with depression and/or anxiety have low levels of GABA, so yoga can help reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mood. Yoga has also been proven to reduce stress.

4. Increases focus and improves memory
A big teaching in yoga is focusing on the present and not being distracted by your thoughts. In vinyasa yoga, you have to remember long sequences of poses. Studies have proven that this can lead to improved memory, reaction time, and problem solving abilities.

5. Increases heart rate
In a vinyasa or power yoga class, or even a basic yoga class done regularly, your heart rate can go into the aerobic rate, which can increase endurance.

BYU offers a basic class! Look for it on our main page under ongoing services.

Good luck, and Namaste.


Additional Information:

Health Benefits of Yoga Explained