Happy New Year to everyone. Have you made a resolution? Will you stick to it?
People are talking about giving up alcohol, chocolate, sweets, canned drinks, coffee, red meat, biscuits and cream cakes. They are going to join a gym, take up running, enter a marathon, go to boot camp, hire a personal trainer and start using stairs instead of the lift.
The problem is that this takes will-power and committment. A high percentage of new gym members stop going regularly after just six weeks. But they keep paying their fees much to the delight of the gym’s accountants. And many will be back on the alcohol, chocolate, sweets, canned drinks, coffee, red meat, biscuits, cream cakes or whatever takes their fancy by the beginning of February.
Why not just take up yoga instead? It might sound like it’s just as tall an order as giving up pizza, but you don’t even need to join a gym to do it. You could go to a drop in studio or even get hold of a decent DVD and practice in your living room.
Do yoga once or twice a week and you will see benefits almost immediately. Here are 8 reasons why yoga should be your New Year’s resolution.
Better flexibility: You don’t have to be flexible to start doing yoga, but every class you attend will make you more flexible. Yoga moves gently stretch your body and over time will increase your range of motion.
Better muscle tone: Yoga tones muscles because most of the poses involve either strengthening or stretching particular muscles groups. You can develop long lean muscles by doing yoga. In fact you could work pretty much every muscle in the body. And the flow of exercises mean that you will also get a cardiovascular work out as well.
Increased strength: Each yoga pose either strengthens or stretches a group of muscles. By holding poses you will gain muscle strength.
Better posture: Improved flexibility and increased strength means that your posture will also improve. You will also find that your balance will get better.
Re-energised: Apart from the more cardio-based forms of yoga, such as power yoga, you won’t find that your energy fade during a yoga class. Indeed you will find yourself re-energised and feeling quite vigorous after class.
Less stressed: The physical exercises you do in yoga can also be combined with relaxation and breathing techniques which induce calmness and lower your heart rate. Enhanced mindfulness and mental calm can leave you feeling less stressed.
Less pain: By increasing your range of motion and strengthening your muscles you can prevent pain because you will become less susceptible to injury.
Everyone benefits: Don’t listen to the clichés. You don’t have to be a bendy girl to do yoga. No matter what your age, size, shape or level of fitness you can benefit.
And what’s more it compliments other forms of sport and might even make you more successful at them.
Your turn: Has yoga made a difference to your life? Have you noticed all these changes. I’m on a mission to get more people doing yoga in 2013. Please share your stories. Click below where it says “Leave a reply”.