Our lives seem to be more stressful every day. Email, text messages and commitments to family, friends and the community compete for our attention. It’s no wonder the number of people who seek the peaceful health benefits of yoga is rapidly increasing. Seventy percent of yoga practitioners are women, and the number of American adults over 50 doing yoga has tripled to 14 million over the last four years.
As a Pilates and yoga instructor myself for the past 15 years, I know the health benefits of yoga to be had, especially for those of us in our prime. Increased flexibility, improved respiration, energy and vitality. Yoga can help with weight reduction, and help you maintain a balanced metabolism. Then, of course, there are the improvements to your cardio and circulatory health, not to mention the much sought after mental benefits that result from a regular practice of yoga, such as kindness and self-discipline.
A study performed in 2009 involving women ages 22-55 even suggests yoga can improve your sex life. You can read more of that yourself, but the gist of the study, small though it may have been, was that after the 12-week program of one hour of yoga each day, nearly 75% of the women said they were more satisfied with their sex life than they had been BEFORE the study. In particular, women who were over 45 experienced the greatest improvement. If all those benefits aren’t incentive enough, I don’t know what is.
As I noted earlier, I am a Pilates and yoga instructor. Through my studies I’ve learned that when it comes to yoga, one size doesn’t fit all. Don’t go to one class taught in a fitness center “chain” and leave frustrated. There are many different yoga practices and styles of instruction. Find the one that is right for you by visiting several. Typically, a first lesson is free, but you should confirm that before attending. Regardless, finding the yoga instruction that feels right to you is worth the investment.
I hope to provide you a good sampling of yoga practices in the following series that will help you in your quest to experience the health benefits of yoga for yourself.
First, I will introduce you to Tina Marie Rodriguez. That post is here.
By Terry Michael for Prime Women magazine