By Lucia Yess


There are many people who intend to use yoga for athletic purposes. This is not entirely wrong. So let’s talk about the athletic benefits that yoga has meanwhile touching on the undeniable results of mindfulness.

Our nation needs to move and I am happy that thousands of individuals are choosing yoga as their outlet. This practice will engage your muscles and build strength.  Your muscles start to strengthen when poses are held for a long period of time. Take Warrior III for example. Your inner thighs and quadriceps are challenged as you stand on one leg. Your arms begin to lengthen which encourages arm strength. Hold this pose for a few breathes and you may start to feel your body shake. Remember to breathe because it will relax your body and mind. It also will help your muscles get needed oxygen and nutrients.

Some yoga also has a cardiovascular component. Vinyasa yoga and other power yoga will get your heart rate up by going through the sequences with speed and breath work. This increased heart rate will get you to sweat. We associate sweating to a “workout” and thus why yoga has been associated with this phrase. I see sweating as a way for our bodies to cool your fire, agni. It does indicate that you are working but I hope it is mindfully and intelligently. That you are aware of the speed and how to go back to a resting state when you need.

Lastly, yoga helps your posture. Once you understand the poses and the alignment it will drastically affect the way you stand, sit, and move. With a long spine and shoulders away from your ears, you will look leaner and taller. Learn these poses and stand with dignity, you deserve it.

Yoga does have amazing physical benefits.  I highly recommend it for anyone who incoprorates other movement in their life like running, swimming, or basketball. It is help your muscles unwind, increase your cardio, and improve your alignment. It also relaxes you which looks good on everyone.

Yoga in the United States is all about variety. Find a studio that suits your body and your philosophy.