Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yoga 101

Despite being practiced for several millennia, yoga is continually attracting new devotees and for good reason. Not only is it a strength-building exercise, it has been shown to have all sorts of other benefits for the body.
The slow stretching of yoga poses (asanas) increases the range of motions in your joints and can stretch the ligaments and tendons, as well as the muscles.

If you've ever done the Plank pose, you know that yoga can build upper-body strength. The Chair pose works the lower back and most of the poses build core strength that is critical to more intense exercise.

Whether or not you incorporate meditation into your yoga routine, the deep breathing and its biochemical responses are proven to create a sense of calm.

Many believe that a regular yoga routine can help with depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma and arthritis.

No matter why you do yoga, it's good for you. And if you haven't already, it's easy to get started.

1. Find a qualified instructor at a local yoga studio or get DVDs to follow at home.
2. Buy a high-quality mat. It is an essential investment.
3. Try out a few different styles of yoga: ashtanga, bikram, and sivananda are some of the most common.

Do you practice yoga? What's your favorite pose?

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