Think you aren't flexible enough for Yoga? Worried about getting stuck half way into the Lotus position? Set aside your apprehension because Yoga is for anyone, and there are many reasons this non-impact exercise is good for you.
Most people hear "Yoga" and think, "stretching." And you should. Regular Yoga poses can improve your flexibility and range of motion by taking through a gentle series of movements that can leave you free from pain, stiffness and fatigue.
But that's not all. Yoga can build strength. Yep, you read that right. There are types of Yoga that use vigorous moves like power yoga, but gentler types also build resilience and endurance. When held for several long breaths, many controlled poses help you build a strong core.
One of the benefits of a strong core is improved posture. Sitting up and standing straight recruit the same deep muscles you engage in Yoga poses. Regular Yogis are quick to notice when they are slouching because Yoga makes them tune-in better to their body.
Finally, Yoga is one of the few exercises that can simultaneously make you stronger, loose, and relaxed. The deep breathing that's integral to Yoga reduces stress, much like meditation. Stress causes the body to go into the fight or flight response, leaving you tense and anxious. It's hard to notice you're stressed once you've adapted to feeling this way. Yoga can help you restore calmness and concentration by resetting your internal balance.
Photo courtesy of yogapractitioner.com