Yoga, Anyone?

Does it look like everybody you recognize is doing yoga? Well, not everyone, but the numbers are rapidly rising—and with good reason.

Yoga may be a type of exercise that just about anyone will do, with little instrumentation, and it improves strength, balance, flexibility and overall physical and mental well-being.

A recently free study shows that the amount of U.S. yoga practitioners has accumulated to over thirty six million, up from 20.4 million in 2012. That’s one in every nine people. Wow! Most (almost three-fourths) of yoga practitioners area unit ladies, however men and older individuals are attempting yoga in increasing numbers.

The 2016 Yoga in America Study, conducted by Ispos Public Affairs on behalf of Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, shows that more than one-third of Americans (80 million people) say they are probably to do yoga for the primary time within the next twelve months. That means i might higher get to category early and stake out my area.
Getting Started
I started a mixed-level yoga class at my gym about five years ago, in my mid-50s, when I began to realize that flexibility and balance get more challenging and more important with each passing day. That’s very true for somebody like Pine Tree State United Nations agency has ne’er been versatile or had sensible balance. I bear in mind attempting a ballet category in my 20s and being aghast that girls United Nations agency were 3 decades older were most a lot of versatile than i used to be.

It solely took one yoga category on behalf of me to appreciate that I might use assistance on all counts—strength, flexibility and balance. As my bare feet gripped the back of the mat and my arms extended forward, I was certain my hands would slip or my arms collapse and I’d fall flat on my face in the midst of downward dog.

Or i might altogether lose my balance and break down throughout wading bird or tree cause. I did—and still do—lose my balance. But I didn’t get hurt, and no one laughed or pointed. I simply got here within the cause and tried once more.

Since those first classes, I’ve learned a lot about my body, my mind and my yoga practice. I’ve learned that i will be able to ne’er be as versatile or pretty much as good at reconciliation as some folks within the class—but it does not matter. My instructor (like most good yoga instructors) repeatedly reminds us to focus our thoughts inward on our movement and our breath. She encourages us to find what works for our individual bodies.

Yoga isn’t competitive, which is one reason I didn’t take to it in my younger, more competitive days. It’s more about getting in tune with your own body and mind. Admittedly, as an extreme extrovert, I have trouble with inward focus. Sometimes, when we’re instructed to lie still and breathe and relax, I totally lose focus and start running through my to-do list. But, i’m sometimes ready to come my focus to my respiration. When we’re practicing our poses, it’s even easier for me to stay focused and let go of the outside world.

Five years into my follow, it’s exhausting MEntion} what has been the largest profit to me. My flexibility and strength area unit higher than once I started. My balance is still shaky—literally—but hasn’t gotten worse, and at my age, that’s a plus. And, i believe my mind is calmer and my stress lower.
The yoga survey says the top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility (61 percent), stress relief (56 percent), general fitness (49 percent), improve overall health (49 percent), and physical fitness (44 percent). Those area unit all terrific reasons—and yoga will facilitate with all of them.
The survey also mentions that yoga practitioners are more likely than non-practitioners to be involved in other forms of exercise, such as running, cycling and weight-lifting. The survey doesn’t say why this is true, but I think yoga makes you more attuned to your body and more likely to want to take care of it by living a healthy lifestyle.

Although regular yoga follow reception would improve my skills, I enjoy the community of classes. I’ve made new friends and renewed some old friendships, and I like sharing the experience with people I might otherwise not be around. My categories embrace folks of various ages and ethnicities, and I don’t think that’s unusual. Survey data shows that 43 percent of practitioners are 30 to 49 years old; 38 percent are 50-plus; and 19 percent are 18 to 29.
As I get older, it may become harder to do some of the more challenging poses, but, thankfully, yoga is adaptable. Classes cater to various levels and special needs. Some of my older friends relish chair yoga, where you don’t have to get down on the floor. I’m not there nonetheless, but, if I keep healthy and keep sweat, i could be someday!