Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years and millions of Americans and people worldwide are enjoying its benefits. Yoga focuses on learning poses called asanas, breathing techniques, and meditation techniques. Some classes are used for relaxation and other class increase flexibility, strength, and balance. Your body becomes leaner and you feel more relaxed.

Some people think that doing yoga requires being extremely flexible and they worry that they won't be able to do the poses because they are either too old or tight. In reality, flexibility is something that gets better with practice and no one is ever too old to cultivate flexibility. The poses in yoga safely stretch your muscles which releases the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles which causes stiffness, tension, and pain. Yoga increases your range of motion and soon you feel a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body. Yoga also stretches all of the soft tissue in your body including ligaments and tendons. The benefits of increasing your flexibility can be felt almost immediately.

Some types of yoga like power yoga or ashtanga are more vigorous and these kinds increase your muscle tone and improve your strength. Other kinds of yoga like hatha or lyengar focuses on less movement and provides strength and endurance due to precise alignment of poses. Many poses build upper body strength which is important as people age. The standing poses build strength in your legs and abdominal muscles. Mostly all poses build core strength and tighten your abdominal muscles. After one day of practicing yoga poses, you can feel how hard your abs have worked instantly.

Yoga can help your posture once your flexibility and strength has been increased. The poses cultivate deep core strength because you count on your abdominals to support each pose. With a stronger core, you will sit and stand taller. You will also become more aware of your own body and when you start to slump or slouch, you will quickly change your position and adjust your posture.

It improves your lung capacity because you have to practice deep breaths along with each pose. Learning how to breathe properly can help you other areas of exercise such as running or cycling. Lengthening your breaths also stimulates relaxation.

Also it helps you focus and makes you feel happier and more content. It is currently being studied as an alternative treatment to obsessive compulsive disorder and treating depression. By adding more oxygen to the brain, you become happier and more relaxed.

Yoga benefit's the heart by reducing the chance of heart disease. It lowers blood pressure and slows down heart rate. There is an anti-oxidant effect of yoga and it decreases cholesterol and boosts immune system functioning.

Yoga makes you feel less stressed and more calm. Some types of yoga promote a meditation technique that reduces endless mind chatter which is the root of many stress problems. There is also a biochemical responses associated with yoga. There is a decrease in catecholamines which are hormones produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Lowering levels of neurotransmitters leaves you feeling calm.

Author's Bio: 

Roberto Sedycias works as an IT consultant for ecommBR