Locust Pose Your Way to Better Health

Yoga pose

There are many forms of yoga, but all style can help balance your body, mind, and spirit. You can also choose styles of yoga that focus on intensity and relaxation. No matter which type you choose, yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen your body, focus your mind, and relax your spirit.

Benefits of yoga

Yoga can make you stronger and more flexible. The gentle movements of yoga make it a great option for people with health conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis.  Don't think yoga is only for beginners or people interested in relaxation, yoga is a great options for gaining strength. And yoga can help you feel great and function better in your daily life. Yoga can also help improve these conditions:

  • Poor blood circulation

  • High blood pressure

  • Arthritis

  • Osteoporosis

  • Limited mobility

  • Lower back pain

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Headaches

  • Tension or stress

  • Depression

Like many other forms of exercise yoga can help you:

  • Reduce your risk for . Each yoga pose targets specific muscles. This helps you increase your flexibility and reduce your risk for injury.

  • Reduce stress. Yoga can help soothe the mind and lower stress levels. It does this by focusing the mind on the moment and the movements.

  • Increase your concentration. A main part of yoga is rhythmic, focused breathing. This can help you focus.

  • Understand the mind and body connection. Yoga requires you to focus all your energy on each movement or pose exactly. This can help you feel the mind and body work together.

  • Gain strength and stamina. More vigorous styles of yoga promote strength and stamina.

  • Improve balance and stability. Balancing poses require you to use your core muscles. This can help you improve your overall stability.

  • Improve posture. Yoga poses strengthen and open tight areas of the body like the shoulders and muscles of the upper back. This can help you keep good posture.

  • Develop body awareness. Yoga you to contract or relax specific muscles as you stretch into each pose. This can help you become more aware of your body’s strengths and weaknesses.

Types of yoga

Yoga offers many options to help you pose your way to better health. You may prefer a certain type, depending on your goals and fitness level:

  • Hatha yoga. This form of yoga is the most popular in the U.S. It’s known as the yoga of force. It emphasizes strengthening and purifying the body. It involves physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama).

  • Iyengar yoga. This style of yoga focuses on alignment. It is fluid and dancelike. It uses props like wooden blocks, straps, chairs, bolsters, and blankets to help you achieve and hold postures you otherwise couldn't hold.

  • Ashtanga yoga. This kind of yoga is sometimes called ashtanga vinyasa or power yoga. It's intense and fast-paced. It’s designed to build your endurance and strength. You do a series of postures in 1 continuous, flowing movement. You link the motions to breathing patterns.

  • Bikram yoga. You do this form of yoga in a very hot room, unlike many other types of yoga. Bikram yoga involves a set of 26 postures that you practice twice per session. First you do standing and balance poses. Then you do back bends, forward bends, and twisting postures.

  • Restorative yoga. This type of yoga does not use active postures. It focuses instead on the relaxation part of yoga.

  • Kripalu yoga. This is a gentler, slower-moving style of yoga. It’s between restorative yoga and the more vigorous forms.

Strength-training with yoga

But, how does yoga build strength? Step 1 is getting into to the class and trying your best to get into a yoga posture and holding it. Yoga can give you stronger muscles with poses such as:

  • Downward facing dog pose. This strengthens your arms and legs.

  • Half moon pose. This strengthens your legs and ankles.

  • Plank pose. This strengthens your arms, wrists, and back.

  • Locust pose. This strengthens the back of your torso, legs, and arms.

How to get started

Talk with your health care provider before you begin yoga or any other kind of exercise. It's a good idea to take a class with an experienced teacher. Let the teacher know about any health conditions you may have like high blood pressure or arthritis. Tell him or her about any injuries or physical problems. A good teacher will know which exercises are best for you, and tell you which poses to avoid.

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