Dear Katharine,

A friend of mine recently suggested that yoga is “just stretching.” My first thought was, ‘clearly, she’s never attempted chaturanga.’ My second thought was that I felt sorry for her that she hadn’t yet discovered the benefits of staying fit by practicing yoga.

For most people, exercise isn’t considered a “fun” activity, and until I discovered yoga, I completely agreed with that statement. For some, running isn’t a good time, going to a gym is daunting and confusing, and joining a spin class is expensive! Yoga, however, allows you to practice at your own pace, from the comfort of your own bedroom. It helps you to sit up straighter, tones your arms and core, improves your balance, and as a plus, you may find your pants fitting better too! On top of that, you may find your body begin to actually crave yoga in a way that it never craved the elliptical, weights, or any other exercise modality that may not have been right for you.

In one of the first studies done in the United States that examines the relationship between fitness and yoga, researchers at the University of California at Davis tested the muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and lung function of 10 college students before and after 8 weeks of yoga training. For those 8 weeks, students attended 4 sessions per week that included 10 minutes of pranayama (breathing), 15 minutes of warm up, 50 minutes of asanas (poses), and 10 minutes of meditation. At the end of the 8 weeks, muscular strength of the students had increased by 31 percent, muscular endurance by 57 percent, and flexibility as much as 188 percent!

Studies like the one mentioned above have included an hour of practice two to four days of week, so if you want to test these results, make sure that you’re meeting that mark.

Also, be sure that you’re incorporating strengthening poses into your routine, such as warrior II, tree pose, triangle pose, downward dog, boat pose, bridge pose, and plank. In particular, make sure that your practice includes a series of standing and balancing poses, like warrior III and half moon pose.

We are motivated to educate as many people as possible which is why we host many events. From in-person educational experiences to virtual webinars and even parties to celebrate our clients, we encourage everyone to get involved with all of our offerings. Take a look at all of our exciting events here:

Also keep in mind our Ayurvedic Superfoods can help to nourish your body from inside out! When pain hurts you from muscle pain to chronic pain, you can rely on Heart & Body Naturals~ Take a look here for all our health and Vitality products!

Kjensifyme Healthy | Katharine
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