Yoga has is a discipline for the elevation of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Dating back thousands of years, it is one of the most archaic forms of exercise, and today it is utilized as a workout focused on deep, rhythmic breathing and a variety of stretches.
When most people think of yoga they imagine either an extremely elderly Hindu priest in a ridiculous pose chanting an odd chant or a gathering of ladies with their mats and their “Namaste” water bottles.
However, yoga is not exclusive to the female gender or the monk; if done correctly, it can be a strenuous and cleansing exercise that purges the body of all negativity.
The history of yoga predates the foundings of most modern-day religions and is steeped in Indus Valley tradition dating back some 5,000 years. This ancient practice provided physical and mental stimulation, and rested the soul with a combination of physical conditioning and meditation.
Thus, a portion of people think of yoga is a foreign entity, one that has evolved into something benefitting only women; however, this is far from the case.
A good number of athletes engage in the activity as a method to help reduce risk of injury and increase stamina. By participating in the difficult stretching of yoga, athletes of all kinds use their mobilizing muscles and stabilizing muscles to their utmost potentials. This increases flexibility, which adds for more mobility within the body.
During a typical session of yoga, the group participates in a repeating cycle of stretches, all the while maintaining rhythmic, consistent breathing. This spikes an increase in heart-rate, while the respiratory system is confined to the deep rhythmic breathing.
The breathing method is essential to the process. Through this, lung capacity improves, and a steady supply of oxygen is distributed throughout the body, which helps to improve awareness and mental clarity. The senses are escalated to a state of alert, and the body is challenged with a rigorous routine that would test even the most physically conditioned.
Yoga’s health benefits are endless—for those looking for increased vitality and those looking to improve their ailments. Yoga has been shown to decrease respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, the meditation entailed by yoga helps to increase brain-wave activity and cognition, as well as eye-hand coordination and balance.
Yoga has been used as a form of physical therapy to patients that struggle with chronic disorders.
With yoga encompassing a broad array of benefits, it should not be subject to the notorious “workout prejudice” that exists in the heart of most patrons of the weights.
Yoga should be a vital weapon in the arsenal of every health-nut.
In terms of age, yoga is a dinosaur in comparison to today’s view of the “traditional exercise”; however, its reputation precedes it. The continuity of its success and its spread to all parts of the world over time has proved the discipline’s success.
So get out there, get your Zen on and take part in the workout of the millennia.