By Nikki Thomas
Yoga gets a lot of hype nowadays, and for good reason: it works! Where else can you get great arms and peace of mind in one workout? If you’ve been shying away from this AWESOME holistic practice, now is the time to give it a try. Here’s why:
Yoga lowers stress levels and more. We all need to slow down, and yoga allows us to do that– bringing the body and mind into a meditative state by focusing on the breath. The poses themselves release tension in all areas of the body. And, lowering the stress levels wards off depression. Did I mention that a regular yoga practice can lower the blood pressure, relieve aches and pains, and make you sleep like a baby?
It gives you a good sweat
Don’t be fooled: yoga is a serious workout. Many of my first time students are surprised when they break a sweat! However, it’s still low impact in nature. You can lose weight, tone the body, AND get clarity without pounding the pavement or jumping up and down! It’s also perfect for anyone who needs to avoid high impact forms of exercise because of injury, or those who are just getting back into a regular exercise routine.
Strength and Flexibility. Many yoga classes are built around vinyasas–a sequence of poses that flow into each other. Sun salutations, for instance, are a total body workout! After cycling through several rounds of dancing warrior (a sun sal variation), you’ll definitely FEEL the effects. Pretty soon you’ll SEE more definition and be able to bend better and reach further!
It’s in our DNA! Did you know that yoga has AFRICAN roots? YES!
It is a little-known fact that Yoga first began in Africa,
specifically Kemet (ancient Egypt). Yoga is a HUGE (and sometimes exclusive) industry, but please understand that it’s not foreign to us as descendents of the MotherLand. It’s said that the form of yoga that is closest to what the Kemetians did is called Kundalini. This style of yoga focuses on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of meditation , pranayama , (breathwork), chanting and yoga postures. This is a POWERFUL combo that invites the mind/body/spirit balance we are all looking for. I make sure to include a spine-warming kundalini warm up in all my classes!
Yoga makes you feel good . And when you feel better, you make the changes necessary to live your best life! It’s really that simple!
Nikki Thomas is a San Francisco Bay Area Radio personality and a certified yoga instructor. She invites you to start your yoga journey NOW…DOWNLOAD her 25 minute Soul Yoga Project DVD at: http://nikkithomasnetwork.com/network/discount/