Yoga Offers Many Health Benefits

Practicing yoga is a great, low-impact way to help reduce stress, improve flexibility, gain strength and more. Sometimes it’s tough to figure out where to begin. Here are some simple steps and guidance to help get you started.

“The first thing I tell people is to find a qualified and certified instructor,” Ellyn Houston, a Harbin Clinic Yoga Instructor, says. “If you go to a class and you don’t like it, don’t give up. Everybody teaches differently. Don’t let one class keep you from going to yoga.”

Find a Class

While there are many avenues to practice yoga, including books, videos and more, fitness trainer David Strain says the best way to practice yoga is with a class.

“By taking a class, you not only get the one-to-one connection with the instructor, but you also get to feel the sense of community in the room,” he says.

Yoga doesn’t require many fancy pieces of equipment or clothing and most yoga classes have extra mats, blocks, straps and more, meaning you don’t have to break the bank to purchase items before you start yoga.

Yoga's Benefits

There are many benefits to practicing yoga including:

  • Stress Relief
  • Pain Relief
  • Better Breathing
  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Improved Circulation
  • Cardiovascular conditioning

Perhaps Strain’s favorite part about yoga is how it helps him focus on the day.

Focus and Peace

“I enjoy yoga because it gives me energy, but it also relaxes me,” he says. “I know that’s kind of a paradox. For me, it gives both inner serenity and helps recharge my batteries at the same time.”

Houston teaches her students to focus on their breathing and to step away from life’s hustle and bustle and to focus on themselves.

“I feel like yoga helps me find peace. It creates a mind-body connection and helps me learn just how strong our body is,” Houston says. “If you have a muscular imbalance, it can help bring it back into balance and by focusing on the body and the breath it helps bring your whole body together.”