I used to think yoga was a super silly type of exercise. Laying around and stretching seemed pretty lame to be considered actual exercise. Not to mention, super boring.
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How yoga has helped me.
As I began to get more into exercise science and learned more about the benefits that yoga offers, my opinion started to change.
I considered how yoga may be beneficial to helping others and how personally it may help me balance the exercise I was already taking part in. As a low impact workout, yoga shows a little more mercy than intense weight training or cardio training.
My frame of mind really changed in college when I attended a few yoga classes and found out how amazing it made me feel and how challenging it really could be!
Over time I participated in more yoga group classes and also found that doing them at home through YouTube was even more convenient, not to mention highly cost effective. When I found a few videos I loved, I stuck with using them frequently.
Yoga offers different intensities, and practices that can focus on different needs your body may have. This can counter the other type of routine exercise you may be doing.
I particularly love the toning, and strengthening that yoga provides to those deep stabilizer muscles that I don’t tend to focus on as much as I should with my regular workouts.
During pregnancy and after, I’ve appreciated yoga even more. These workouts have kept me strong and flexible to help with before, during and after delivery. Yoga, unlike other workouts I participated in during this time, was something that I was able to do for the long term.
While I will caution that as with any exercise, you should be mindful of how much you are “forcing” your body to do. Over stretching, just like overtraining, can lead to injury. When done correctly yoga is a great option to rotate into your workouts.
How to get started with yoga?
Find a yoga class online that you really enjoy, or try attending one at a local studio.
Try using yoga for an active rest day.
Check out some of my all-time favorite yoga classes on the Hint of Happy site under the Healthy Lifestyle, Exercise section.
Just like trying anything new for the first time, you may have to take a couple of tries to get good at it. Have fun with it and hang in there, because I can tell you first hand that it has helped my running and made me more mindful of my body and posture, not to mention the overall strength and toning!