Yoga is a beautiful practice that can benefit anyone. It helps build strength and flexibility and provides a great cardio workout.
It is also an incredible mind-body connection. Yoga benefits range from increased focus and memory to better sleep and reduced stress levels.
But how often should you attend a yoga class? It comes down to how convenient it is for you and how you prioritize your practice.
Yoga is well-known for its flexibility, but it’s more than just stretching—you’re also strengthening your muscles. Many poses involve balancing on one foot or holding certain positions for long periods, which requires you to engage your core. This helps improve balance, and a solid core protects your back from injury.
In addition, deep yogic breathing increases lung capacity and enhances circulation. This helps reduce high blood pressure and ease breathing issues like bronchitis and asthma.
Parker says anyone can benefit from yoga, regardless of age or fitness level, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. And she adds that participating in a class with others can be especially beneficial. For example, if you want to work towards nailing a handstand, having someone to check in with can help keep you on track. The group can also provide support and encouragement.
Increased Mental Focus
Students and professionals can benefit from yoga’s ability to improve focus. Many studies show that people with ADHD and other attention disorders relieve symptoms by practicing yoga. These benefits translate to the classroom and the office by allowing people to concentrate better on tasks, stay more organized, and respond faster when stressed.
In addition, yoga helps improve posture and balance. This can help prevent back pain, which often occurs due to poor posture. Regular yoga helps correct the body’s alignment and reduce slouching, which can lead to back problems.
Seeing everyone on Instagram who can do handstands and single-arm balances may make you feel like you need to do more yoga to see any mental or physical changes. However, attending Yoga Classes once or twice a week can still deliver positive results. It can also help you get into the habit of regularly caring for your body and mind.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
The movements of yoga help stretch out tight muscles, promoting relaxation and encouraging a connection between the body and mind. Yoga or even Tai Chi Classes also incorporate meditation techniques, which can help clear the mind of anxious thoughts and promote calmness.
Regular yoga practice can also teach you to control your breath in times of stress or anxiety, decreasing the likelihood that a panic attack will occur. These breathing exercises reduce the stress hormone cortisol, allowing your body to relax and slow down.
In addition, regular yoga practice helps build a strong core, which can help support back pain. The poses that require balance or stability often engage the core, helping sculpt and tone the abs. People with chronic back pain often find relief in doing yoga, particularly those who have slouching postures that contribute to their discomfort.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. If you’re plagued with sleeping disorders like insomnia, snoring, or sleep apnea, yoga may help you get the restful slumber you need to be well-rested and ready to face the day.
Some types of yoga, such as the calming and soothing practice of yoga nidra, can be as relaxing and refreshing as sleep itself, Fleming says. During yoga nidra, you lie down on your back with a blanket or bolster for support while the teacher focuses on relaxing various body parts.
Choosing the correct type of yoga for your specific needs is essential, especially if you’re a beginner. Observe a class and interview the instructor before you enroll, Rowland-Seymour advises. And don’t be afraid to start small; she says every yoga pose starts as a beginner’s pose. This allows you to focus on breathing and moving slowly rather than pushing yourself too hard.