Now. For the big Question, you may have been considering.
Yoga makes you feel Good.
After thousands of years of history and hours of research on the practice of yoga and meditation we now can say definitively, yoga makes you feel good. It's relaxing. It's energizing. It's strengthening. You feel better at the end of a session than you did before you began, and life runs more smoothly when you maintain a consistent discipline than when you don't. Yoga enhances your experience of life. It changes your perspective. You then find yourself spontaneously embracing a more expansive vision of who you are. You start seeing things differently, with less distortion - which results in more peace of mind, better health, more enthusiasm for life, and an ever-growing authentic sense of inner well-being.
Fight Food Cravings
Researchers from the University of Washington found that regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, an awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. By causing breath awareness, regular yoga practice strengthens the mind-body connection, Bleier says. The awareness can help you tune in to emotions involved with certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when cravings strike.
Put nagging lower-back pain behind you. Sufferers who did two 90-minute yoga classes a week for about six months eased soreness by 56 percent. Those given treatments like pain meds and physical therapy lessened the hurt by only 16 percent. Posing improves posture and strengthens back muscles to keep aches at bay, researchers say.
Yoga could be your ticket to body love, research from the University of California in Berkeley finds. Women who practiced regularly rated their body satisfaction 20 percent higher than did those who took aerobics, even though both groups were at a healthy weight. The secret may be that yoga asks you to tune in to how your body feels and what it can do—not how it looks.
Combat Worry and Stress, big time!
Aside from the array of physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which has been known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. “Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, substance abuse, and an inability to concentrate,” says Dr.Natalie Nevins, DO, (a board-certified osteopathic family physician) “Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life.” Unlike more traditional forms of exercise, yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing help a person improve his/her mental well-being. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration,” says Dr. Nevins. Body and self-awareness, in particular, are very beneficial, adds Dr. Nevins, “because it can help with early detection of physical problems or ailments and allow for early preventive action.”
Myth Busted! Men can't/don't do this.
Here are some reasons men Do and Can practice Yoga
Yoga is a full-body workout, albeit in a different (and often necessary) kind of way. According to some scientific research, yoga can build strength, increase flexibility, and improve balance, stability, sleep, and relaxation.
Jocks around the country are turning to yoga for functional strength, injury prevention, and mental preparation.
Shaquille O'Neal, former NBA player
LeBron James, forward for the Miami Heat
Ray Lewis, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens
Mike Krzyzewski, men's basketball coach
Kevin Garnett, forward for the Boston Celtics
Here's what these Champions have to say about the practice:
"Yoga has made my entire body more flexible, I'm stronger in my upper body, and I'm living proof that yoga prevents injuries.'' -Eddie George, Heisman Trophy winner, NFL running back
"I've been doing yoga since 1995, and I practice my breathing and focusing exercises before every game.''
-- Kevin Garnett, NBA superstar
For these athletes, yoga is the key to peak performance. But you don't have to be a world-class athlete or even a weekend warrior to benefit. Yoga is also the perfect exercise for guys who spend more time on the computer than they do running marathons. A few simple stretches a day can give any man:
Greater flexibility and range of motion
Increased muscle strength, tone and endurance
Improved sexual stamina and performance
More energy and less stressSharper focus and clarity
Reduced risk of injuries-including an end to chronic back pain
As you practice yoga and meditation regularly, this subtle sense of feeling good gradually becomes so pervasive, so natural and genuine, so much a part of you that it carries over into the whole of your life. And in doing so it helps clarify your deepest longings, motivations, and aspirations, thereby restoring optimism, hope, meaning, and purpose to life.