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Yoga is a Good Thing...

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By Triathlete .com

Thinking about trying yoga for the first time? The winter months are the perfect time to extend out of your comfort zone, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga author Sage Rountree shares five reasons to give it a try.

Flexibility


You probably think of yoga as primarily stretching—or even contortionism. Indeed, flexibility is a big part of contemporary Western yoga. Practicing the postures will stretch tight muscles and encourage use of your full range of motion. Tight muscles are more prone to acute injury, in the form of muscle strains and tears. Loosening up those tight spots will not only help prevent such injury, it will help prevent repetitive-use injuries by allowing the body to move smoothly during your training. Stretching moves you through your natural range of motion, which is lost if it is not used regularly....

 

Beyond physical flexibility, yoga cultivates flexibility of mind. The poses, breath exercises, and meditation practices all encourage focus on the present moment. By letting go of memories of the past and projections into the future, we can find happiness in the here and now. As you gain experience with yoga, you’ll come to see that the mind will heave you through highs and drag you through lows, just as happens during training. Staying aware of the present without feeling overwhelmed builds equanimity, the capacity to remain calm no matter what comes your way. Keeping your brain—or one metaphorical foot—in the present while outside forces try to bend you in various directions is the equivalent of mental flexibility.   READ MORE



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