byWith every year that passes, we get more information about the mental and physical benefits of exercise…
But when it comes to actually lacing up those sneakers, it seems like there are a million roadblocks. It’s too expensive, we’re too old, we have the wrong body type, the wrong equipment and we certainly don’t have enough time.
Fortunately, there’s an activity that isn’t held back by any of these constrictions. Although yoga has a reputation for being all about flexibility, it’s actually the one form of exercise nearly everyone can do. So no matter who you are or how much time you have, here are six reasons why you should give yoga a try.
You don’t need a specific body type to do yoga.
What’s the first image that comes to mind when you think of yoga? A super flexible, super thin person in some crazy acrobatic pose? You’re not alone — many people think they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible enough, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Being flexible is far from being a prerequisite to enjoying yoga,” as Magee Walker puts it, on The Clymb. “Yoga is about much more than just flexibility — strength, balance, and stamina are a few other areas that you’ll be working on.”
As for shape and size, yoga instructor Lauren Walker explains that yoga meets you exactly where you are.
“If large breasts and belly make it challenging to do a forward bend practice, separate the legs to give yourself extra space,” Walker wrote on Mother Nature Network. “For seated twists, try bending one leg, straightening the other, and twist away from the bent knee instead of toward it. For bridge pose, try strapping your breasts down so they don’t suffocate you as you invert.”
Corporate yoga is everywhere.
Your company probably isn’t offering after-work CrossFit classes, but yoga classes may be a possibility. As yoga grows in popularity, it is offered more frequently in the workplace. Big companies like Google, Nike, HBO, Forbes, Apple, AOL and others offer onsite yoga classes. So if your company hasn’t hopped on the yoga bandwagon yet, ask around — it’s probably more of a possibility than you think.
No equipment is required to practice yoga.
You don’t need shock-absorbing shoes, reformers or even a mat to do yoga. Although a mat will make your practice more comfortable and easier on your joints, yoga can be practiced on hardwood floors, carpets, or in bed. Don’t believe us?Check out Mind Body Green’s list of five yoga poses to do in bed. Our only suggestion would be to ditch the tight jeans.
You can’t age out of yoga.
Although everyone has to be more careful with exercise as they age — be kind to those knees! — you can do yoga for life, as long as you do it right.
“Yoga helps people integrate an exercise program into their routine without some of the downfalls that you can easily come across in different training systems,” Eva Norlyk Smith, a yoga teacher and Managing Editor at YogaUOnline, told Huff/Post50. “Yoga does offer strength training because you use the weight of your own body in many of the postures. But unlike regular strength training, because you’re not adding any weight, you’re less likely to get injured.”
You don’t need a lot of time to practice yoga.
One of the most common excuses for not exercising is not having enough time. And we get it — between getting to a gym or studio, actually taking the time to exercise and showering afterward, exercise can be time consuming. But you can do as little as five minutes of yoga a day, and it doesn’t always mean a sweat session.
There are tons of different types.
Some people prefer fast-paced yoga, others are in it for some light stretching, and a few yogis are all about the 105 degree room. And finding the right yoga fit for you isn’t hard.
Download the app Om Finder to sample different types of classes near you, check out sites like Groupon, which often offer discount packages, or head to a nearby yoga studio and ask if they have new student deals.
If you’re looking to try new poses on your own, check out these yoga poses to get you through a midday slump or poses to put you in a better mood.