Why is yoga beneficial from a mental perspective?
Yoga is known for it’s benefits to your emotional wellbeing and sense of personal wellness. Unlike traditional exercises that may form part of your usual gym routine, it is characterised by its spiritual connotations which can be particularly beneficial for those with anxiety as it teaches you breathing exercises and helps you enter a calmer and more relaxed state. It can also have benefits for people with depression especially if you decide to take aerobic yoga classes on a regular basis as it increases your heart rate and can lead to an increased level of serotonin which is known as the ‘happy hormone.’
As a strengthening exercise, it can also reduce the effects of aches and pains caused by chronic illnesses like forms of arthritis which causes inflammation in the joints. This can be hugely beneficial from a mental perspective for these people leading to a more positive mindset and new lease of life.
Why choose yoga over other classes or meditation?
Meditation is a typically holistic measure which helps with managing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. It is often compared to the practice of yoga due to their spiritual nature and benefits to both the mind, body and soul.
Yoga can improve muscle strength, balance, endurance and flexibility whereas meditation is predominantly focused on clearing your mind and improving your overall sense of wellbeing and calmness. One is not necessarily better than the other, it depends on your individual requirements and what you want to achieve from a physical or a mental perspective.
What are other popular forms of alternative exercise?
There are many other non-traditional exercises that you can try other than just yoga and meditation. Here are some of the most popular alternative gym routines:
Pilates – aims to strengthen the overall body in general with an emphasis on core strength to improve fitness and wellbeing. Exercises are done on a mat or using special equipment with pulleys and springs, handles and straps to provide either resistance or support, depending on your needs.
Aerobics – Often associated with an older audience, think aerobic exercises with stretching and strength training routines with the overall goal of improving flexibility, muscular strength, and your cardiovascular fitness.
Zumba – Who says your gym routine can’t be fun? Zumba is a fitness-party with a blend of Latin and international rhythms that provides an effective workout to a global community, either at home or in the gym itself.
Pole Fitness – Pole dancing is actually an amazing calorie-burning cardiovascular exercise which uses the muscles in the entire body and really builds your core strength and flexibility whilst being a physical activity that doesn’t feel like a workout.
We would always advise seeking the support of a healthcare professional or your GP in the first instance to discuss your concerns and any possible supplements you may need before making drastic changes to your diet and eating habits.