As a yoga practitioner for years (about 18 years, and counting!), I swear by the amazing effects that yoga does for me. Not only does it help me get rid of those nasty fine lines; it also keeps my weight within normal range.
I don't know how others feel about yoga, but I can't find any other physical activities that suit me just fine.
Or perhaps, I just suck at sports since I lack an amazing eye-hand coordination.
So, what exactly does yoga do to your body? A lot. For the most part, it helps develop and enhance flexibility, which is great for those who feel a little tightness on their shoulders, legs, and neck.
As your muscles feel more relaxed, exercising (whether it is yoga, sports, or aerobics) becomes much easier to do.
Basically, I do hatha yoga, which is focused more on improving your strength, balance, focus, and flexibility. There are several poses that target specific body issues such as headaches, back pains, and weight problems.
The shoulder stand, for instance, is aimed at enhancing one's metabolism.
This pose is a bit challenging to do for beginners since you need to hoist your lower body all the way up, so you're just using your elbows and shoulders for support.
It's a milder form of the headstand, and it causes your blood to flow towards your thyroid glands.
That's the concept of this pose - to stimulate the thyroid that is responsible for metabolism. There are more yoga poses for weight control, but this is one of my favorites because it really works.
What's more, yoga helps me maintain self-control and discipline, which is perfect for eliminating emotional eating problems. I believe this is a common problem among those who try to lose weight since once emotions get in the way, that's the time we hit the fridge and scavenge for anything sweet and rich and fatty.
By the time we're through our eating spree, we end up feeling guilty, depressed and just plain lousy about gobbling up half a dozen doughnuts, a carton of full cream milk, three slices of chocolate cake, and two cupcakes.
Then, we blame ourselves for stocking up on those evil foods and start making a mental note to NEVER raid the fridge that way again (only to find ourselves doing the exact same thing the following night).
Yoga is not like your regular gym exercise that's all about getting beefed up and packing on hefty muscles. In fact, yoga is done in a much slower pace because the idea is to hold a pose for a few minutes and focus on your breathing.
So, it works both ways, which is to calm the mind and condition the body. It's amazing how these simple poses can do so much to keep your body in excellent shape.
Lastly, yoga helps improve your posture, which makes you look more slender than you really are.
After all, standing or sitting up straight hides those bulges that will otherwise look hideous and completely noticeable when you slouch.
With a great posture, you will also look great in your outfits and make you appear slimmer and more confident.
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