It might be as old as the hills, but yoga is still a modern, popular practice that tops the fitness charts year after year, with an increasing number of new recruits realizing the huge benefits of yoga to the body, mind and whole being. According to the respected American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual survey, yoga comes in the Top 10 for their Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015.
A study just a couple of years ago revealed that 20 million Americans practice yoga and that as well as seasoned practitioners the ancient practice attracts beginners too. Over recent times, knowledge about fitness in general has increased and much more is understood about the value of exercise and the human body. This has served the practice well, as today there’s even more understanding about the benefits of yoga.
While there is an emphasis on working on specific muscle groups, such as the abs and core muscles, for example, what many love about yoga is that it is a whole body practice that takes a holistic approach to fitness and wellness. Yoga is credited with boosting energy and your immune system, as well as providing cardiovascular benefits and helping improve circulation and detoxification. In other words, yoga gives you a real all-over good-feeling!
Whereas in the past, it was often popular to just sweat it out with some cardio burn classes, nowadays there is a growing fitness style of adding more into the mix. Strength training can actually improve the power of fat burning activities and yoga is a great way to strengthen the whole body, especially when it comes to powerful yoga inversions where the head is below the heart in movements and poses. Flexibility and suppleness also help prevent injuries and support better mobility, which explains why yoga is such a popular practice with athletes as well as part of functional training regimes.
Aside from the mind and body benefits, yoga is also open to beginners or those returning to practice after time away. If you enjoy seeing progression then yoga fulfils that too as poses become more complex and you challenge your body more. You do not already have to be superfit to enjoy and feel the benefits of yoga. In fact, it is amazing how you feel after just one session!
There is much more of a focus on the health not just of the body but also of the mind these days as well. Stress can have a huge impact on all of us and really take its toll on you physically and mentally. Fitness trends today are much more about exercise for a better lifestyle and of how you feel, rather than simply about creating a buff body that looks great. By mentally giving yourself some space and de-stressing the mind and body, you are promoting health and quality of life too, which keeps you motivated to live your life in a healthy and active way.
Yoga is all set to transform bodies, minds and lifestyles in 2015 and if you have yet to explore this thousands of years old fitness practice then this could be the year to try. We are waiting to welcome you so get in touch.