One of the greatest barriers to practicing yoga successfully is the fact that there are so many myths and misconceptions about it. Because it has been around for so long as an exercise and fitness technique there is no doubt that it is massively popular, never more so than now. However, if you are the type who is always looking for the latest fitness fad or trend, then the chances are that you might dismiss yoga as old hat. If you think you know everything there is about yoga then what about these interesting yoga facts?
- Yoga oxidises your cells – Many yoga fans talk about the practice being akin to an internal massage that stimulates your body’s vital systems, thus helping blood flow and also increasing oxygen levels on a cellular level. This is why many yogis claim that yoga practice has anti-aging properties. Certainly, anecdotally your skin can look and feel fantastic with a post-yoga glow. Cell oxidation damages cells and research suggests that yoga helps reduce this harm.
- Yoga is for beginners – Nobody likes to be the newbie surrounded by experts but with more people taking up yoga for the first time than ever before, the figures published by a recent Yoga Journal study, suggest that nearly 40% of Americans practicing yoga are beginners with less than a third having practiced for more than three years.
- Yoga’s roots reach back beyond the 70s – It’s interesting that yoga seems to be set in the 1970s in the minds of so many. However, nothing could be further from the truth and if you think 40 plus years is a long time then what about over 4,000 years? Academics purport that yoga is contained in Rig Veda, early Sanskrit hymns.
- Yoga is about rest as well as activity – While a criticism some athletes have about yoga is that it is not really a cardio workout, the fact is that there is nothing stopping you incorporating yoga into a training program that includes high intensity interval training and strength training. What is interesting is that yoga guru Iyengar, suggests that it is necessary to rest between poses, adding to further inactivity. There has been a lot of recent research about the effect of recovery and rest and how it can benefit the body. Yoga already incorporates these seemingly new ideas.
- Yoga is not just about the body – Perhaps one of the most awesome aspects of yoga is that it is a holistic practice that focuses on wellness and not just physical achievements. Studies have suggested that yoga can help practitioners de-stress and even help tackle depression and anxiety. In fact, the psychological benefit of stress relief is one of the main motivating factors which attracts people to practice yoga. It can certainly have a restorative impact that feels nourishing and revitalizing. In fact, yoga can transform your whole being.
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