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I don’t exactly know what happened, but somewhere around the last few years Instagram kind of took over our entire lives. From meme-seeking to the overwhelming amount of fitness buffs bodies, Instagram has definitely taken a toll on my self-esteem and I’m sure many of you. This ended up kicking me into high gear. I realized I wanted to transform my body, but not in an unhealthy way where I would be on crazy diets, but rather, build endurance and feel as though I could be flexible or climb a mountain-top! This is where I turned to yoga.

Yoga has the potential to increase fat loss, develop muscle tone, and build flexibility, leading to a more lean-looking physique. If you have read any of our past blogs, I had mentioned the experience of taking a yoga class and how it is quite different from training at the gym. What I found was that unlike other types of workouts where my goal at the gym is usually to lift weights and then cardio on the treadmill. I noticed that this doesn’t necessarily help with becoming more flexible or maintaining good balance. After searching for answers I found out that yoga might help with a lot of these challenges. What I learned was: If flexibility and balance are what you’re after, even the gentlest forms of yoga will do the trick. Many types also help you build muscle strength and endurance. If you want to work on your cardio fitness, yoga can do that, too, as long as you opt for a more rigorous form. Yoga allows you to only use your own bodyweight as resistance. Since yoga requires you to enter into and hold various positions, you will naturally strengthen your muscles.

Therefore, choose one of the gentle forms if you want to target flexibility, balance, strength, and relaxation. It was found in a study that people who did Hatha yoga for 8 weeks had better balance, improved flexibility, a boost in endurance, and an upsurge in strength. Right now if you’re thinking that this only works for those who already flexible, you’re wrong! The great news is that you don’t have to be the most flexible person in the room to reap the benefits of practicing. If you commit to a weekly practice, depending on the class you take, your flexibility will improve over time, leading to fewer injuries, and you will experience toning in all of your muscles!

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