Yoga – A Life And Fitness Hack For All!
Yoga is for hippies!
Or so everyone once thought. Nowadays, more than just vegans and stoners are doing yoga.
NFL teams have their players taking up yoga classes after training sessions.
Fire departments have hired yoga ‘drill instructors’ to help them control their breath when oxygen is thin.
And companies are now having employees incorporate yoga in order to relieve stress and boost morale and energy.
If you’ve never tried a yoga class, I HIGHLY suggest you try it!
My first yoga class was eye-opening. During the final moments of the class, my body was totally relaxed, warm, and relieved from stress.
It was at this moment I realized how much stress and tension we all carry in our bodies.
Sadly, most people don’t do anything to relieve stress. It just builds up and sticks around with them all day long.
You know who these people are right?
No one has any desire to be around them or let alone talk to them. These people are constantly in a negative mindset, complaining about the littlest things, and making everyone around them worse off too.
I believe if everyone did yoga, the world would be a happier place. More than just for your body, yoga teaches gratitude and the idea of being present with your body and mind.
Forget about yesterday, and forget about tomorrow. We are so blessed.
You are here, and you are now. Namaste. – (Greeting in yoga)
The Benefits Of Yoga
If you didn’t know by now, yoga has about 1 million benefits that will help you both mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are just a few big ways in how yoga will change your life.
Relieves Stress (And Other Annoying Shit)
Your boss is a total ass.
He has no respect for your opinion and would slave you at work if he could.
He pisses you off to the point of you wanting to punch him in the face and he increases your stress by 1 million!
He should take up a yoga class. And so should you.
Yoga is a fantastic stress reliever. Often the first thing that a yoga class will start off with is your breath. Focus on your breath and nothing else.
Let everything from outside the yoga class go.
You aren’t here for you stressors. You’re here to let go.
The physical movement from yoga gets your heart pumping and focuses your mind.
When you’re exercising and practicing yoga, your body boosts the endorphins to make you feel happier and better.
Releases Built-Up Tension
Similar to stress, tension builds up in our bodies and stays there unless we somehow release it.
Do you ever wake up in the morning and your shoulders, neck, jaw, or other body parts are very tight.
Certain people carry stress and tension in different places, but the shoulders and neck are the most common.
It makes you just want to get a deep tissue massage. But a massage will only help temporarily.
The reason we feel tense all the time is because of all the stress that builds up from our daily activities.
We have deadlines to meet, children to take care of, dinner to make, and it seems we have no break.
I get it, our lives are busy, but if you don’t release all that tension you’re carrying it’s only going to get worse.
The biggest problem I see is that people come home from a long day of work feeling all tense and they do nothing about it. They go to the couch, watch tv, and drink a few beers, and head to bed.
This is the worst thing you can do for all that tension! When you go to bed with all that tension and stress you’ll wake up the next morning feeling even more tense with tight muscles.
The way we release all of this tension is through the power of yoga.
Yoga relaxes and de-stresses us through breathing, meditation, stretching, and, movement, exercise.
Yoga stretches let new blood circulate to your tense body parts, releasing and nourishing the muscles. You’ll notice this right after you release the stretch and your body parts suddenly feel warm from the new blood rushing in. It feels fantastic!
Naturally, exercise and movement also provide blood flow. The flow of yoga from one position to another will not only release the tension but get your heart beating as well! It’s a workout!
Improves Muscle Recovery
If you’re big into lifting like myself, you’ll find yoga a great way to speed up your recovery and gains.
Stretching your muscles and promoting light activity after a day of heavy lifting does wonders for your gains.
The blood circulation from yoga will help provide essential nutrients to help increase the size of those guns!
Simply moving and stretching your sore muscles will also help prevent injuries in your next workout.
You’ll notice a difference in your muscles right after yoga class.
Not to forget, a speedier recovery means you’ll be able to train more often and get back to the gym rather than taking a lot of rest days!
This is why a lot of NFL teams have incorporated yoga into their team training! It prevents injuries and gets their players back on the field.
Increases Flexibility And Mobility
Without a doubt, yoga increases your flexibility.
Just look at all those amazing yoga teachers! It’s incredible what positions they can contort themselves in and out of.
In order to improve flexibility, you must practice yoga often. You’re not going to get incredibly flexible simply by attending 1 yoga class a month.
I suggest practicing yoga at least 2-3 times a week in order to improve flexibility as well as reap all the other benefits from this amazing discipline.
This is more than just about touching your toes. Practicing yoga will have you going in, around, and through your body.
Tight hamstrings, shoulders, back muscles, and much more will be a thing of the past.
Yoga will also increase mobility in your joints.
This has helped many people overcome knee, shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain.
Not only will it feel better but joint mobility is great for reducing injury for people who participate in sports, specifically contact sports.
Earl Campbell, former NFL Running Back, and member of Pro Football Hall of Fame practiced yoga on the regular.
He claimed yoga increased his playing career due to the ability to be flexible and prevent injuries.
Imagine being at the bottom of a pile in football with multiple guys weighing up to 300 pounds!
Being flexible prevented Earl from dislocating joints, tearing muscles, and breaking bones!
Strengthens Muscles And Improves Balance
Like any other exercise, yoga makes you stronger and improves performance. Try holding the ‘downward dog’ position for a minute, and you’ll feel like your shoulders were set on fire.
My first class ever doing yoga my shoulders were sore for a few days.
But as I’ve continued I’ve noticed I can hold positions for longer, and that I’ve gained a different kind of strength that you can’t get from lifting weights.
Lifting weights will make you strong but yoga will make you ‘body strong.’
This is because yoga incorporates a great deal of balance and flexibility.
In order to hold positions like Dancers Pose, Eagle Pose, or Warrior 3, you have to have some serious balance.
You’ll notice when you first try some of these positions, you’ll end up stumbling all over your yoga mat. It takes practice but once you get good at it, your body will be able to carefully balance on your toes, feet, hands, and complete all sorts of twists.
It boosts your confidence a lot to know you’re strong enough to move your body in such poses!
Corrects Your Lousy Posture
Most people sit in one position for the majority of the day. Think about it, you’re sitting in the car, sitting at work, sitting at school, and sitting at home when you watch TV.
All that sitting rolls your shoulders forward, puts stress on your lower back, and limits the oxygen to your brain – making you less focused.
It can be hard to sit up straight for the entire day, but you can incorporate yoga into your lifestyle in order to fix your posture.
Certain positions like the cobra and the bow pose will help strengthen your back and correct that unwanted hunch and rolled shoulders.
Yoga poses also help realign the spine into a neutral position, allowing your posture to return to normal.
Decompresses Your Spine
Lower back pain?
It sucks. It really sucks.
Look we’ve all been there. But complaining about your lower back pain won’t do anything for you. In fact, complaining will only make it worse since you’re going to be stressing yourself out about how bad it hurts.
A lot of lower back pain is caused because of staying in the same position for too long.
But the biggest reason is actually because of gravity. When standing or sitting, gravity is constantly pushing down on us, specifically our spines.
This causes our vertebrate to compress and squish the discs that separate each one.
The compressing of our discs is irritating and causes lots of discomfort. If our discs compress too much we can get a herniated or bulging disc, which is when the disc protrudes out of its spot and can even touch the spinal cord.
Not only is it uncomfortable as hell but herniated discs cause us to lose feeling in our body since the spinal cord is the highway in which our mind sends signals when we wish to move our legs, arms, feet, toes, fingers, and every single body part!
Have no fear yoga is here!
There are certain stretches and movement that can help you decompress your spine and alleviate your lower back pain.
- Downward Dog
- Child’s Pose
Now I’m not your doctor. So it’s always best to consult with a professional before attempting yoga. Injuries from yoga do happen, but they are rare.
That being said, do not force anything if it starts to hurt. That’s where injuries become even worse.
Take it slow and feel the decompression of your spine. Slowly begin to take the stretch even further and deeper. If you feel its safe continue, keep pushing yourself until you have a really good stretch going.
Be sure to breathe and allow oxygen to flow to your lungs and spine where you have discomfort.
Release the stretch, rest for a few seconds and then get back at it. Try a few stretching sessions and see how you feel!
Introduces You To Gratitude
If you want to be humbled and truly live in the moment, yoga will help you get there.
Through the power of movements and breathing, you learn to take the moment for what it is.
You begin to forget the outside world.
Depending on the yoga practice, your yoga instructor will often start and end the class off with some basic meditation.
Focus on your breathe and then listen to the noises that begin to pop up.
You start to notice everything around you, including the smallest little sounds.
And you begin to realize how special and blessed life truly is.
You get a deeper sense of meaning and visualization that you can’t get when going through your everyday busy life.
This is what yoga is all about.
Improves Your Sleep And Sex Game
One of the more awesome benefits of yoga is it improves your performance in bed.
And that includes both your nightly sleep as well as your relationship with your partner.
If you suffer from chronic insomnia, or just wish to get better sleep in general, yoga is the place to start.
“Studies find that yoga was linked to improved sleep quality, reduced feelings of fatigue, reduced frequency of use of sleep medication, and an improved sense of quality of life among patients who practiced yoga twice a week for 75-minute sessions.”
Yoga has also been shown to boost your libido.
Why is this?
Yoga is one of the top stress reducers.
Stress hinders more than just our mind, but many of our bodies natural functions. When we’re stressed, we’re less likely to go to the gym, complete work, go on a date, have sex, etc.
When we remove stress from the equation, our mood benefits.
When we’re able to relax this makes us enjoy sex much better.
Teaches You How To Breathe
If there’s one thing us humans need to do more of, it’s to take a moment to stop and breathe.
How many of us are in such a rush for no reason every single day?
We’re constantly focusing on the future, and what’s the next thing I have to do or work on?
Our body and mind never get a break!
Next time you feel like you’re super stressed, in a rush, frantic, or just feel uncomfortable, give this a try.
- Stop whatever you’re doing
- Close your eyes
- Take a deep breath in through the nose
- Exhale through your mouth
- Focus on your breath and only your breath
- Repeat 5 times and see how you feel
You’ll notice an instant difference in how you were feeling before to how you’re feeling after you take a moment to stop and breathe.
Yoga is very practical in teaching you how to breathe.
When you find yourself in a tough yoga position, it’s important to focus on your breathing. Get that much needed oxygen to your lungs and then into your bloodstream.
That’s why you’ll often hear your yoga instructor saying “Don’t forget to breathe” when you’re struggling in downward dog or any other position.
It’s more than about getting air into your lungs but to increase your mindfulness and focus on the present moment.
To prove to you the power of yoga, I wish for you to watch the video below.
A 96 year old yoga instructor who is winning at life more than all of us!
Most can only hope to make it to 96 years old. But this little lady is showing that age is just a number!