Exploring the Benefits of Yoga
What You Need to Know About Yoga at Spare Time Sports Clubs
You’ve probably seen people with rolled-up yoga mats tucked under their arms or slung across their backs and wondered what makes yoga so popular. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, you may be skeptical when you hear how much it changes lives. However, much of the available scientific data suggests that yoga offers multiple benefits to the body and mind. At Spare Time Sports Clubs, we want members to be informed about the health benefits of yoga in our Sacramento, CA sports and fitness clubs. Whether you already practice yoga or you’re looking to join the bandwagon after taking an in-depth look at yoga with us, we encourage you to join one of our classes!
What Is Yoga? Why Do So Many People Practice Yoga?
Many assume that yoga is simply a stretching exercise. While yoga does entail a wide range of poses, these poses aren’t just intended to improve flexibility. Yoga is defined as a spiritual and ascetic discipline. These days, yoga is widely practiced for health and relaxation purposes. It’s a practice that emphasizes stretching, breath control, and simple meditation through a series of poses. People take yoga classes for various reasons. Some simply seek a way to release stress from their daily lives, while others do yoga to rehabilitate their bodies after an injury or surgery. There are many reasons someone might start taking yoga classes because it’s widely beneficial to people of all ages and all walks of life.
How Can You Benefit From Yoga?
Yoga is estimated to be around 5,000 years old, with the first yoga practitioners traced back to Northern India. Yoga is a practice that has endured for thousands of years, a testament to how fundamental its benefits are to practitioners. Today, scientists and researchers are barely scratching the surface of yoga’s many health benefits for the mind and body. However, studies have produced very encouraging results. Let’s take a look at some science-based benefits of yoga backed by clinical research:
- Improves Mental Health – As cases of Major Depressive Disorder are on the rise, it seems like everyone is looking for a way to improve their mental health. Multiple studies have been conducted observing the effects of yoga on mental well-being. Most studies showed a strong correlation between practicing yoga and reduced depressive symptoms. The studies showed that movement-based yoga therapy and breathing exercises are powerful for fending off depressive symptoms and improving mental well-being.
- Reduces Anxiety – In addition to depression, anxiety is also a significant problem for Americans. However, yoga has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and chronic stress. More research is needed to determine exactly how practicing yoga impacts anxiety levels. So far, the research data is very promising.
- Improves Flexibility – This is the health benefit most people think of when they hear the word yoga. The yoga poses taught and practiced during yoga asana (the physical aspect of yoga) focus on stretching the muscles and improving flexibility. Flexibility is one of the four major types of exercises contributing to a person’s overall health and fitness.
- Reduces Inflammation – Chronic inflammation is a precursor to many diseases and health conditions. Yoga has been shown to reduce many kinds of inflammation typically linked to various chronic conditions, including heart disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more.
- Boosts Immune Response – Did you know chronic stress can compromise your immune system? Being stressed out all the time makes you more susceptible to illnesses. Yoga can help you relieve stress and improve your immune response.
- Improves Sleep – While the same can be said of many different physical exercises, yoga can help improve your sleep. Yoga and other forms of physical exercise have been observed to help people fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
- Improves Bone Strength – Several studies have shown that isometric contractions improve bone strength. An isometric contraction is when you stretch a muscle and hold it in the same position for a specific time. This differs from other muscle contractions involving muscle shortening and lengthening through exercise motions. Yoga involves several types of isometric poses, which may improve bone strength. In some cases, it may help reverse bone density loss.
- Improves Posture – Yoga has been known to help improve posture. Many yoga poses focus on body alignment, so practicing yoga over an extended period may improve your posture. This is increasingly important as more of us spend time hunching over computers at our desks.
- Boosts Strength – Many studies have been conducted on the effects of yoga on overall body strength in various age groups. The results indicate that yoga improves body strength for men, women, and children alike.
- Improves Athletic Performance – For an athlete, balance is crucial. Many yoga poses are designed to improve your overall balance. Since yoga emphasizes balance, many believe it can help improve athletic performance.
- Improves Cognitive Functions – Several studies have suggested that practicing yoga activates parts of the brain responsible for attention, motivation, and other key cognitive functions. Repeated activation of these brain centers can also improve neuroplasticity.
Anyone Can Benefit From Yoga, Including Seniors
One of the best things about yoga is that almost anyone can do it. Yoga classes at Spare Time Sports Clubs are available for every age group and experience level. Even seniors can do yoga, which is a great way to stay active even with bodily limitations. Because yoga improves mobility, flexibility, balance, and cognitive functions, it can be highly beneficial for seniors. The best types of yoga for seniors include restorative yoga, yoga with chair exercises, and Hatha yoga because they tend to be slower-paced and less demanding. Yoga can help you stay active and avoid the risk of injury as you age.
Yoga Classes Available for All Ages and Experience Levels
At Spare Time Sports Clubs, we foster an inclusive, fun, and encouraging environment for all members. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, you’ll love our yoga classes. We also offer one-on-one sessions with nationally certified personal trainers, group fitness classes, youth activities, indoor tennis, swimming, and so much more. If you’re ready to start reaping the science-based health benefits of yoga, please contact or visit one of our state-of-the-art clubs in the Sacramento area today. We have locations in Elk Grove, El Dorado Hills, Gold River, Folsom, Oakley, Roseville, and more, so there’s always a Spare Time Sports Clubs location not far from where you live!