Yoga Is Much More Than Stretching And Exercise

Yoga Stretching

Yoga Exercise

Women: Fitness 101

You're a bit overweight. You're out of shape. You want to do something about it.

The first thing you can do is pick up a yoga mat and begin studying yoga.

Why should you take up yoga? All that will get you is the ability to put your feet behind your ears, get stuck, and have some unkind friend roll you about like a bowling ball, won't it?

Not so.

There are several good reasons to take up yoga.

Ever look at a little kid - so flexible, able to tumble around on a mat and do the splits with ease? As you age, that flexibleness gradually disappears - in particular if you don't maintain it by stretching.

Why should you stay flexible? Well, if you watch baseball, you know. The first baseman seems to have to perform the splits at least once a game, as he (or she, if we're talking softball) has to stretch in order to catch a ball in the dirt.

In the real world, it can happen as well, as you slip on a piece of ice or banana peel or anything, and one foot goes one way and the other foot goes the other way. If you're flexible, and able to do the splits with ease, chances are these undignified and accidental splits aren't going to hurt you. But if you're stiff and inflexible, the chances of getting seriously hurt rise exponentially.

In addition, being able to stretch and feel every muscle, and have control over every inch of your body, simply feels good.

Finally, a part of yoga that you do not want to ignore is the meditation.

Yoga is much more than stretching and exercise. It's also a meditation technique...and in this particular stressful climate - what with the state of the economy and so on - meditation and being able to release stress is more important than ever.

Why pick up a yoga mat? There are many reasons. If you have problems keeping up with your exercises, and need to "get in the mood" - one such method is to purchase a yoga mat and use it for doing yoga, because once it's on the floor, you know it's time to start stretching. It's your exercise "home."

In addition, of course, with the fine materials that these mats are made of (Ultimate Fitness Gear has three different styles to fit all budgets), you'll be protecting your floor - and your joints - while working out.

As with any exercise, you don't want to go too far too fast with yoga. It's not a question of "no pain, no gain" here! If you do the moves incorrectly, or try to stretch too far before you're ready, you can injure a tendon or worse.

Steadily stretching, such that you improve on a weekly rather than a daily basis, is the way to go.

If you don't want to take a yoga class at your local Y, check out the various videos on YouTube that give demonstrations of yoga, and pick up a few books from the library.

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Comments 10 comments

Patricia 7 years ago

At my age flexibility is becoming very important but with age and weight I really didin't know what to do.. Yogi has been a blessing. Like everything you have to start slow and build-up


Lulu 7 years ago

I have been really interested in yoga for some time now. Reading this has definitely reignited my interest in it! Not only would it be physically good for me, but it would be mentally relaxing as well.


ragow 7 years ago

i love yoga. its simply fantastic. it gives flexibilty and self control. am very much interested in that.


brendalee profile image

brendalee 7 years ago

I've often thought about trying yoga. I really didn't know much about it. After reading your article, it sparked my interest further. I sure could use some help in the flexibility department.


MBH 7 years ago

Yes I agree; yoga is much more than just stretching and exercise and yes it needs time and effort but sure it worth..!


James 7 years ago

Yoga is so simple yet so effective for one's mental and physical health. Easy on the bones and great for the heart!


Marie-Jeanne 7 years ago

I love my yoga mattress; you can also buy a bag to carry it around.

It is great for camping and also when I go visit some friends and I need to sleep on the couch then it makes it more comfortable by removing the cracks from the cushions.

It will last many year, beware of the different thickness.


whackie 7 years ago

This is interesting as I am just starting to look into getting into Yoga. Thank you for the info.


Rusty33 7 years ago

I love yoga and this info just helps add to my knowlegde. Thanks a bunch!


ufgcom profile image

ufgcom 7 years ago from Florida Author

My buddy just got done doing yoga.. has anyone heard of Hot Yoga? I had never heard of it before, but it seems to be getting popular around where I live.

Its the same thing as regular yoga but you are in a sauna and sweat off alot of weight.

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