By Jenny Park
When you become a yoga instructor, you learn that some students only want physical fitness. They don’t care about mental and emotional benefits. Any discussion of chakras, mantras and mudras will make them stampede toward the door. For this reason, every studio and health club should have a fitness based yoga class on the schedule.
How Asanas Help Body Shaping
Many who take up yoga training are surprised at how much their body changes even over a short amount of time. Asana practice helps to shape the body in many different ways including weight loss, balance, posture improvement and muscle building and toning. Common thought is that posturing is simply “stretching” but it is so much more and offers benefits in many forms, body shape is simply the visual aspect.
There are many types of yoga today, several which have been proven to encourage weight loss. Power, hot, and flow yoga are a few types that help weight loss. They all encourage the burning of calories and are much different than the gentle stretching and chanting which is associated with traditional yogic methods. These types of yoga will definitely make one work up a sweat, and burn up to 150 calories in a half hour depending on current weight, and intensity of the workout.
Balance and Posture
The practice of asanas is proven to better one’s balance and posture, thus improving their overall appearance. Those who do it on a regular basis will begin to stand straighter and taller, create a more symmetrical body shape, and exude a much more confident vibe to others. This confidence is due to not only the physical portion of the exercise, but also the mental benefit gained through achievement and traveling to that calm place in the mind during practice.
Muscle Building and Toning
Yoga requires one to hold poses for some time which builds endurance and strong muscles. More muscles and less fat equals a better body shape. Common poses work certain muscles groups. For example, the pyramid airplane and warrior poses work specifically on the lower body, but also strengthen the core when done correctly. A typical routine works every muscle group from head to toe, much more so than most workouts.
As stated before, it does not take long for these body improvements to become noticeable to others. Most report that even within a month they begin to see a physical change, when practiced at least three times a week. It is also important that the instruction is consistent. Without a certified yoga teacher and guidance, it is likely the full benefits will not be realized. The instructor plays a special role in that they push the student to achieve the desired state of mental and physical success, and stick with the new routine.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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