Yoga is easy to learn, requires little or no equipment, and helps you become relaxed while you are toning your body. Training your mind, body and breath and connecting with your spirituality are main goals of yoga. There are specific yoga poses while controlling your breathing. The benefits of yoga are that it can improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. In addition, many people who practice yoga say that it reduces anxiety and stress, improves mental clarity, and even helps them sleep better. Many gyms and community centers offer yoga classes. There are also yoga DVDs, websites, and books that contain yoga poses and instructions. Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. The yoga poses work by stretching your muscles safely releasing lactic acid build up which usually causes stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue. Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. No matter what your level of yoga is, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time.

Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others. Practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone. Many of the poses, such as Downward Dog, Upward Dog, and Plank pose, build upper-body strength. Poses that strengthen the lower back include Upward Dog and Chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles. With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits you’ll hear yoga participants talk about. The same is true with mood. Nearly every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class.Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

With all the benefits of practicing yoga, why not give it a try? When feeling stressed try these poses and deep breathing techniques to calm and relax your mind.

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