Yoga is a part of my weekly regimen. I would like to say daily, but to be honest, it isn’t. It feels good to my body to move and stretch, especially after traveling, and it calms my otherwise busy mind. The yoga studio is the one place where one doesn’t have to compete with the gal on the mat next to you or do the pose perfectly. Sometimes, the mere fact that you’re in the class is enough to calm the racing thoughts and relax the tense shoulders.
While yoga doesn’t torch as many calories as a spin class, it does alleviate stress and creates a mind-body connection. When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fat saving mode and produce a hormone called cortisol. The fat saving kicks in, especially around our belly, to protect our organs. When we practice yoga, we focus on what we are doing in that moment, not the issues or worries that are waiting for us outside and are able to relax. The deep breathing helps to clean our blood of toxins and postures such as twists, help us to detox our organs. The balancing postures help us to strengthen each side of our body, as most of us have a dominant leg, arm and hand.
Most gyms have yoga classes and yoga specific studios offer new students a discounted rate to try out a few classes. (Not Bikram which is more strenuous to the body or Ashtanga which is not ideal for beginners. Look for the words Hatha, Vinyasa, Sivananda or Flow yoga). And if you’re new, tell the teacher so she/he can help you with poses and alignment. We all started somewhere and were all new in our first class!