Active Lifestyles: What makes yoga so amazing

Katy Mueller

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(photo courtesy of Julia Caesar via Unsplash.com)

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From the title, my opinion of yoga should be clear. I love it so, so much. I look forward to it as a relaxing part of my day and it’s fun for me to see the progress I make in a particular pose after months of practicing it. Doing yoga also helps relieve my hips of the tightness that accumulates when I consistently run on hard ground. But, besides my own opinion on why yoga is the best thing in the world, what are the other benefits of practicing yoga?

Yoga has an array of benefits that may not be as well known as others. For one, it helps build up your immunity. Basically, what it does is help drain your lymph of the gunk thats stuck up in there and get things circulating again so that your immune system can do a better job of fighting disease (your lymph nodes are what let you know your super sick).

Another surprising benefit of yoga is how it seriously is great for your skin. Basically, do all this upside down arm stands, stretching and moving make your blood flow pump like crazy, thus getting more oxygen to your skin. Not to mention, that extra blood flow is great for your brain too, which is one of the most important organs in your body.

In my personal experience, yoga has really helped with strength. I personally am not the most interested in being super muscular, so yoga is just enough for me to get out of that perpetual noodle arm stage I always seem to be in, but not so buff where I look like I lift every day. It requires incredible strength to be able to balance yourself just on your arms, or to basically hold a squat for three minutes while your arms are intertwined around your legs.

I’ve found that through yoga, I have gotten strong enough to the point where, when I am consistently in practice, I can control my body almost perfectly because of how much I have trained each individual little muscle to move itself into the exact strength pose that I desire. Not to mention, I’ve actually gotten pretty toned throughout my time practicing yoga which is a nice plus.

Livestrong.com however, encourages newbies to take it easy. Sometimes when we are really really tight, stretching just too much past our comfort level is enough to snap something and cause a muscle tear. They suggest starting with the basics and going from there. Once you begin, it will be an amazing feeling when you start to see your progress.

Collegian blogger Katy Mueller can be found at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @katymueller13