It's hard to deny the physical benefits of yoga. Studies show that it improves flexibility, posture, and balance; strengthens bones; and increases muscular strength. The effects of selected asanas in Iyengar yoga on flexibility: pilot study. Amin DJ, Goodman M. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2013, Nov.;18(3):1532-9283. Yoga Improves Upper-Extremity Function and Scapular Posturing in Persons with Hyperkyphosis. Wang M, Greendale G, Kazadi L, et al. Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy. 2012 Jun 1; 2(3): 117. Hatha yoga on body balance. Prado, E. Raso, V. Scharlach, R. International Journal of Yoga. 2014 Jul-Dec; 7(2): 133–137. How Effective Is Sun Salutation in Improving Muscle Strength, General Body Endurance and Body Composition? Bhutkar, M., Bhuthar, P., Taware, G., et al. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011 Dec; 2(4): 259–266. Plus, when it comes to your core, simply breathing properly during yoga can help strengthen your deep abdominal muscles. Try it for yourself with this quick yoga workout that targets your abs.
In this practice, you'll be guided by the rhythm of your breath for each move. It's just enough of a challenge that you won’t write it off as too easy, but it won’t be so painful that you’ll never try it again. It's the perfect practice when you're short on time and just want to pay a little extra attention to your core, or when added to the end of your usual cardio routine.
You don't need much to get started. Just grab a yoga mat (a towel is optional), and then hit play.
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