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How Yoga Stretching Changes Your Physique

Feb 2, 2010

Yoga stretching can help you change the shape of your body in several ways. It's important to attend a class so that an instructor can help you maintain the proper form for the best results. It's also important to start slowly, even if you are a strong athlete. While yoga has many health benefits, it should never replace medical advice. Even with a solid yoga practice, you may need medications or other medical interventions if injured or ill. Here are some of the main ways yoga stretching can change your physique.

Increased Circulation

When you stretch, you increase the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. This can help move toxins out of the body which in turn can help the skin. You may notice clearer skin or even a slightly more youthful appearance. With fewer toxins in the body, the skin is a better color and the eyes may even appear clearer.

Burning Calories

Even gentle stretching burns more calories than just sitting on the couch. Some forms of yoga, such as flow yoga and power yoga, can burn enough calories to substantially help you with weight loss. If you're overweight, this will make your body look slimmer and healthier. If you're the right weight, it will help you maintain that weight, and it will help you burn fat which will be replaced with muscle from your workout efforts.

Muscle Building

Some yoga stretches help to build muscle and require a lot of strength and endurance. Many of the moves target specific muscle areas. The warrior pose, for instance, builds muscles in the legs. A body with more muscle has a higher base metabolic rate because muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat.

Yoga Can Make You a Better Athlete

Yoga helps condition the body, build muscle, and increase flexibility. These qualities will help your body make the most of the other components of your workout. You'll be more able to work harder in aerobics and weight lifting. You'll be less prone to injury. It can also help build core strength, which will help if you're a runner.

Stress Reduction Is Sexy

When the body is stressed, it tends to store toxins and can be more prone to unsightly problems. When you do yoga regularly, your stress level will reduce. You may notice a decrease in dark circles under the eyes. Yoga helps to reduce blood pressure, which can help mood. Happy people are more likely to take care of themselves physically, i.e., dressing better, walking with a spring in their step and smiling more often.

Improved Balance and Posture

The yoga poses directly help your body stand more erect and with better balance as you walk. The poses can help improve neurological problems and help you train your back to be straighter. You'll walk with more confidence and a better gait. The stretches also help the neck muscles improve, so you have a more self-assured posture and can look people more directly in the eyes.

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