Fitness Friday…..I am a Yogi and Loving it!!

Inhale……exhale……inhale….exhale…..allow your self to focus on yourself….listen to and feel your breathing…….EXHALE AND RELEASE WHAT IS NOT SERVING YOU…..

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Since May, I have been taking Yoga once a week and I am LOVING IT!!!! I would love to take it more than once a week but right now that is all that my schedule and wallet can handle.

I have shared with you all before that I found a studio (Extend Yoga) near my job that offers $5 mixed level classes. This is perfect!!!  The teachers and the community are so welcoming and supportive.  As a new Yogi, it is wonderful to be in the presence of the practitioners at Extend Yoga.  Participating in the mixed level classes allows me to learn new poses and variations and transitions but not feel pressured or awkward because I don’t know what the pose is or how to do it.

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There are benefits of Yoga and I have to say that I am experiencing every single one of these:

  • Stress relief:The practice of yoga is well-demonstrated to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. The body responds to stress through a fight-or-flight response, which is a combination of the sympathetic nervous system and hormonal pathways activating, releasing cortisol – the stress hormone – from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is often used to measure the stress response. Yoga practice has been demonstrated to reduce the levels of cortisol. Most yoga classes end with savasana, a relaxation pose, which further reduces the experience of stress.

I have found that I am able to get to a place of calm and less stress more quickly and I am able to maintain that feeling for a little while longer.

  • Pain relief: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have shown that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.

-Even with the pain and arthritis in my knee, I feel that by time I am done with class, I am able to get into positions (child’s pose) with less pain that I was not able to do at the beginning of class.

  • Better breathing:Yoga includes breathing practices known as pranayama, which can be effective for reducing our stress response, improving lung function and encouraging relaxation. Many pranayamas emphasize slowing down and deepening the breath, which activates the body’s parasympathetic system, or relaxation response. By changing our pattern of breathing, we can significantly affect our body’s experience of and response to stress. This may be one of the most profound lessons we can learn from our yoga practice.

– Inhale……exhale……inhale….exhale…..allow your self to focus on yourself….listen to and feel your breathing…….EXHALE AND RELASE WHAT IS NOT SERVING A PURPOSE…

I find that I am better able to focus on my breathing even when I am not practicing Yoga.  Since I was a child, I actually go through periods in the day, when I stop breathing. Not like pass out stop breathing but I hold my breath without even knowing that I am doing it.  Since beginning practicing Yoga, I am becoming more away of my breathing and moments of non-breathing.

  • Flexibility:Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility and increase range of motion. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity.

-My hamstrings and hips are soooooooooooooooo thankful for the movement and the stretching!

  • Increased strength: Yoga asanas use every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe. A regular yoga practice can also relieve muscular tension throughout the whole body.

-Who knew that my feet and even my toes would benefit from practicing Yoga.

  • Weight management:While most of the evidence for the effects of yoga on weight loss is anecdotal or experiential, yoga teachers, students and practitioners across the country find that yoga helps to support weight loss. Many teachers specialize in yoga programs to promote weight management and find that even gentle yoga practices help support weight loss. People do not have to practice the most vigorous forms of yoga to lose weight. Yoga encourages development of a positive self-image, as more attention is paid to nutrition and the body as a whole. A study from the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that regular yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain. The lifestyle study of 15,500 adults in their 50’s covered 10 years of participants’ weight history, physical activity, medical history and diet.

-I am actually not sure if I have benefited from this as I don’t weigh myself.

  • Improved circulation:Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

-I often used to have swelling in my feet and tingling in my hands the intensity and frequency has reduced over the past 2 months.

  • Cardiovascular conditioning:Even a gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

-I have actually been tracking my resting heart rate and I am currently at 63 for my resting heart rate where I was in the mid 70s before.

  • Presence:Yoga connects us with the present moment. The more we practice, the more aware we become of our surroundings and the world around us. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.

-What I am loving most about Yoga is I have been able to reduce my mindful of clutter to a bare minimum while I am practicing.  I am better able to be present and block out the thousand and 1 things that are fluttering in my brain!

  • Inner peace:The meditative effects of a consistent yoga practice help many cultivate inner peace and calm.

-It may totally be in my head but I do feel a sense of being more calm and letting things roll off much easier.

Overall, I am loving Yoga, loving the benefits and I am looking forward to improving my focus and practice.

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Do you practice Yoga?

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Linking up with Jill for Fitness Fridays! Make sure to check out what others are sharing in their fitness journey.

Yoga Benefits Info gotten from: https://www.yogaalliance.org

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8 thoughts on “Fitness Friday…..I am a Yogi and Loving it!!

  1. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I love yoga as well. I can typically only go to class once a week. I could do it at home, but it’s just not as relaxing and I have a hard time focusing. Love yoga!

    Liked by 1 person

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