by Guest Author, Allison Preston
Many adults enjoy and are aware of the rewards of yoga. Yoga stretches tight muscles, builds body awareness, improves endurance, and calms the mind and body. But yoga is now attracting a younger audience who is finding out that yoga can be a fun way to exercise and relax.
Yoga may not look like other forms of exercise to most people, but they are amazed at how the seemingly simple poses can work out so many different areas of their body.
For people lacking in confidence about their body image, some group activities can backfire causing people to further disconnect from their bodies and actively resist taking care of themselves. Yoga's emphasis is on self-acceptance which makes it more appealing, a less intimidating way to get active. Yoga stresses a nonjudgmental emphasis on body awareness.
Yoga is not a competitive sport- there are no winners or losers. Yoga can give less confident people that much-needed support from their peers. If someone in a class has difficulty with a particular pose, often others in the room help them out. Yoga offers many people an opportunity to just relax. Just getting to "be" without having to achieve anything in particular- is a huge relief to many people.
Traditional sports tend to emphasize strength and speed over flexibility. Many adults overlook the importance of stretching. Additionally others use weight training to develop major muscles while ignoring the supportive and opposing muscles which are equally as important. Yoga can help correct these imbalances. It helps build endurance and flexibility, thereby improving athletic performance. Yoga can also enhance your ability to concentrate and focus, and improve your posture. Chest-opening postures and inverted poses strengthen arms, shoulders and back muscles, which teach you how to carry yourself with more self confidence.
Yoga can also teach you how to stay calm centered and focused in the midst of distraction and to let your body relax. This is an important skill for anyone who is experiencing transitions- physical, emotional, intellectual in today's fast paced world. Yoga often becomes an outlet for working out people's emotions. It can help you take control of you frustration and find alternative ways to deal with it rather than reacting right away.
© Author Allison Preston Author
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