Yoga is the 5000–year–old Indian spiritual practice that involves strengthening the body and fortifying one’s mind. Today, yoga is practiced by over 15 million Americans in 2013 and has since evolved into a $27 billion dollar per year industry. While some still pursue yoga for its spiritual benefits, more and more Americans are turning to yoga for a variety of benefits from exercise to stress relief. Here are some reasons why you may want to learn yoga.
The Benefits of Yoga
Around 78.3% of practitioners attend yoga classes to improve their flexibility, with most people stating that they can feel their flexibility improve by approximately 35% after just eight weeks of class according to a study. Studies have shown that certain yoga postures can actually lower the blood pressure of practitioners when compared with people who used that time to lay on the couch. Menopausal women who practiced yoga reported a 30% decrease in hot flashes too according to a study by the University of California, San Francisco. Additionally, yoga studies offer aerobic forms of yoga like Vigorous Power, Vinyasa, or Ashtanga yoga–these power classes can contribute to weight loss if done for 90 minutes at least three times per week.
Many yoga practitioners reach a point where they pursue their yoga certification. There are actually two levels of certificates depending on the amount of time the practitioner wants to devote; there is a 200 hour and a 500 hour yoga teacher training program. When completed, the teacher may devote their yoga practice to certain philosophies or ideologies to keep the mind focused on the practice. People of all ages can learn yoga and benefit from its effects on the mind, body, and spirit.