We all have our reasons for exercising: increasing flexibility; building strength; relieving stress. For most of us, these are our main motivations to workout. But there are benefits to exercise that are less obvious. It's kind of like finding $5 in your pocket. It's been there all along, but you just didn't see it yet. To avoid getting all “Captain Obvious” on you, here are 7 unexpected benefits of yoga and exercise that are extra bangs for your buck:
You’ve seen your grandparents’ huge crossword puzzle books and answered when they asked, “what’s a four-letter word for stance?”
(It’s “pose” by the way. See what we did there?)
To keep the brain sharp, especially as we age, it’s important to keep active. Puzzles, like cross-words and sudoku, are great ways to get the brain working. But did you know that yoga can have the same affects?
Yoga demands concentration, coordination, and engagement. While you work out your muscles, you’re also exercising your brain. You might notice after a workout you’re more creative and ready to learn. In the short term, that’s a great time to study or design. In the long term, you’ll prevent cognitive decline, so you can stay on your game even while you age.
Yoga Is A Class
Remember how I just said yoga is good for your brain? Yoga is also a great opportunity to learn!
Whether you’re a beginner or a yogi since birth, we can all agree that there’s a lot to figure out. From stances to Sanskrit, yoga exposes you to a different culture. And for those of you that have seen those “namaste in bed” shirts, you can laugh at the play-on-words and also recognize the irony. Understanding and practicing another culture is a learning experience, which is why it’s a yoga “class”.
Birds Of A Feather
I remember my first yoga class. After rolling out my mat in the middle of an empty room, I watched as others showed up and filled the space around me. Even though I came on my own, I wasn’t alone. Everyone in that room shared an interest: we wanted to learn yoga and to be surrounded by others who felt the same.
Yoga is an amazing way to build a community. Maybe you joined the class to get fit, relax, or try something new. At the end of the day, your instructor wants to see you succeed, and your classmates are in the same boat. Your yoga class is a great place to meet people with similar interests, so start building your network!
Learn To Listen
When it comes to exercise, we’ve been taught to run faster, jump higher, and lift heavier. No pain no gain, right? While it’s important set realistic goals, there’s a fine line between pushing yourself and risking injury.
Unlike running, jumping, and lifting, yoga is an exercise that focuses solely on you. Every movement and breath requires concentration. You have to analyze your body, making sure every last muscle is engaged or relaxed. By learning how to listen to your body, you’ll know when you can push harder and when it's time to take a step back.
Cool Party Tricks
Who doesn’t want to see someone put their foot behind their head or pop into and hand stand???
Food (Need We Say More?)
When you burn calories and build muscle, your body is going to need extra nutrients. Which means – you guessed it – adding more foods to your diet. But before you start snagging extra cookies from the break room, bear in mind that your diet needs as much balance as your yoga poses.
Protein for muscle repair, carbs for energy, vegetables for nutrients: yoga teaches you to be in tune with your body, so treat it right with a healthy diet. Every month, The POSE Box Collective will upload some of our favorite foods, so be sure to check-in if you need a new recipe for your foodstagram.
Finally, your love of yoga and fitness helped you find us :)
We're so happy you've joined our community! If you didn't have enough reasons already, we hope these unexpected benefits give you extra motivation to power through your next class.