What's the best type of exercise?
If your goal is weight loss, you have many options to choose from. For beginners, you can start walking more, which is great because you don't need special equipment. Plus, it doesn't put a lot of stress on your joints.
Or if you want something more challenging, you can go jogging or running. You can also try cycling, strength training, swimming, as well as high-intensity interval training.
Do you know what else is amazing for weight loss? Doing yoga daily.
And yes, some people assume it's not a good weight loss exercise. But it can help promote weight loss. Aside from helping you shed extra pounds, daily yoga practice can also be life-changing.
Don't believe it? Here are seven reasons why yoga may be the life-changing practice you need in your life.
1. It's Amazing for Stress Management
While it's true that other forms of physical activity can help reduce stress, pushing yourself to the limit achieves the opposite. That's because when you exercise too much, it can trigger your body to release more stress hormones.
Now, this leads to an increased heart rate and blood pressure, raised blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and a weakened immune system. So when you're doing other types of workouts, especially high-intensity ones, remember to give your body enough rest so it can recover properly.
Meanwhile, when you do yoga, you're not just doing physical movements. You have to keep your breathing slow and controlled. And this helps your body relax and feel energized at the same time.
Plus, the more you do it, the more it can help reduce the physical effects of stress on your body.
2. It's Therapeutic
Do you feel pain in your quads after running? Or maybe your wrists keep on hurting every time you use your keyboard and mouse?
Doing daily yoga poses can help restore flexibility and function to the parts of your body that need healing. In fact, there is such a thing called yoga therapy, which can be tailored to each patient and their particular injury.
You can check out yoga Rx to learn more about yoga therapy and its benefits.
3. It's a Great Way to Build Strength
Some people hear the word strength training, and they immediately think of weights (and lots of them!)
But if you don't want to lift weights or just want to take a break from it, it doesn't mean you'll lose your strength gains.
Yoga can count as strength training if you practice a style (e.g. Ashtanga or power yoga) that uses muscle-building asanas or poses. These asanas are capable of targeting all the muscles in your entire body. So if you do them frequently, you can use it as a substitute for traditional strength training.
4. It Changes Your Mindset
But the more you practice yoga, the more you will realize that fitness isn't its only goal. Since it's a practice that reminds you to focus on the now, it takes on a meditative aspect, which you can use to reach a deeper, more spiritual place in your life.
5. It Makes You Appreciate Every Day
Because yoga promotes harmony between your mind and body, you learn how to be more appreciative of what you can and cannot do on a daily basis.
Keep in mind that your practice isn't going to be the same every day. There will be days when you'll be able to do difficult poses without breaking a sweat. And there'll be days when you'll struggle with even the most basic asanas.
The important thing is you accept whatever is happening on the mat on that day. When tomorrow comes, listen to your body. You can rest if you need to or use it as an opportunity to explore what your body can achieve for that day.
6. It Helps You Let Go
"Let it all go" is something you'll hear often when you attend regular yoga classes. Your teacher might say this during the last pose or when everyone in the class is in the middle of a difficult posture.
But what does it mean exactly? Newbies may not get it right away, but the longer you dedicate yourself to yoga, the more letting go becomes intuitive for you.
You see in yoga, you're training your mind to be still so that when something stressful occurs, you don't react with anger. You pause, collect yourself, and let go.
Still don't get it? Think about the asanas you are doing.
You're not expected to master them right away. It's a process that will take time, which is why you need to be patient with yourself. You have to let go of your expectations and trust that in the process, you will become a stronger, calmer you.
7. It Will Boost Your Self-Esteem
Compared to power poses, doing yoga asanas even for a few minutes can help boost self-esteem and energy.
Some of the poses that can help you with this include Mountain Pose or Tadasana, Eagle Pose or Garudasana, and Upward Salute or Urdhva Hastasana.
So if you need a boost of confidence, remember your yoga training. Even if you only have less than 15 minutes, it's still a great way to remind yourself that you are already whole and complete, just as you are.
Doing Yoga Daily: Find Your Balance
Maybe you don't want to give up running or HIIT or cardio, etc. That's okay. Yoga isn't asking a lot from you.
If you can only practice twice a week, that's fine. Or if you can only do 15 minutes a day of yoga, that's okay too.
It's all about balance. Again, don't forget to listen to your body and let go when you need to.
Want More Yoga Tips and Advice?
Now that you know more about doing yoga daily and what that can do for your life, don't stop there.
There are tons of other ways to learn more about yoga. You can watch videos online, read books, and so on. You can also check out a yoga studio near you or you can search this site for more yoga tips and advice.