Written by Alysha Shello
The holiday season has come and gone making it the perfect time to embark on a fresh start, especially when it comes to your fitness. Despite popular belief, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that the average person only gains one pound over Thanksgiving and another over Christmas. But the real challenge is getting rid of it. Those measly two pounds can accumulate from year to year, and before you know it, you’re carrying unwanted
weight from a decade ago. One of the best ways to avoid this is through Hatha Yoga— a sustainable practice that not only eliminates excess weight but also improves overall wellbeing.
Hatha is a term broadly used in yoga, which encompasses movement-based classes. 532 Yoga previously noted that through movement (asana) and breath (pranayama), the goal is to achieve the mind-body-spirit connection. If you’ve tried different styles of yoga before, you’ll notice that Hatha holds poses longer, while taking a few breaths before each transition. This allows students to make small adjustments and refine each pose, while practicing breath control. This technique, called pranayama, is a way to let life force flow through your body.
There are many ways Hatha Yoga can enhance your well-being. Starting with the obvious, yoga can be a way to build strength and flexibility. This is why it’s popular among celebrities, professional athletes, or people who just like to stay fit. A few examples are Duchess Meghan Markle and Victoria’s Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio, who are both strong and lithe. Meanwhile, David Beckham’s personal instructor describes how she helped the former pro
soccer player become more flexible, an underrated skill in contact sports. Mastering the poses, from downward dog to handstand, is a way of preparing for long hours of meditation which is why it’s important to keep fit and have endurance.
Researchers also found evidence that Hatha Yoga boosts your immune system. Psychology Today shared the findings of this study, which show that practicing yoga on a regular basis reduces pro-inflammatory markers. Although a vital part of healing, when it turns chronic, inflammation can negatively impact tissues and organs and cause disease. Hatha Yoga, therefore, strengthens both the external and internal body.
Because it is essentially a form of moving meditation, Hatha Yoga can also bring peace to the mind, which everyone needs in high-pressure environments. According to an article on Awaken, LeBron James meditates even during games in order to refocus. Being surrounded by supporters and critics in high stress professional games certainly seems like the perfect time to utilize the skill of quieting down one’s mind. His level of determination shows why James continues to thrive in the NBA as arguably one of the greatest players in history and the highest paid athlete in the sport. Evidently, the LA Lakers power forward has a rigorous training program as well, but finding time for breath control to stay calm in a sea of chaos may be the special ingredient to his success.
Hatha Yoga can be the secret to reducing stress in your life, too. It can be a very effective coping method to external and internal pressure that can improve your lifestyle habits such as eating and sleeping. Did you know that the hormone released when you’re stressed— cortisol— can cause intense food cravings and sleep deprivation? Because Hatha Yoga is a mindfulness practice, you’re allowing peace to prosper and training your mind in dealing with stressful situations. The bottom line is that Hatha Yoga is one of the best rewards you can give to your entire self. Try to dedicate thirty minutes to an hour daily and your body and mind will thank you soon enough.
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