Though the advantages derived from a regular yoga practice increase with frequent participation, attending a class once a week can still provide numerous benefits. Yoga can help you to increase your strength and flexibility while also aiding in reducing stress and promoting restful sleep. A busy schedule or commitments to other physical activities may not leave much time for yoga, but fitting a session in once a week can be a valuable addition to your fitness plan.
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Using your body weight as resistance, yoga is a full body strengthener that can help you to build lean muscle mass. Including standing, balancing and inversion poses in your yoga practice can help to strengthen your legs, core and upper body, respectively. You can become stronger by practicing once a week. Adding a full body weight-training workout once or twice a week can increase your results.
Tight muscles and joints can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort. Rigid muscles can also become injured more easily. Yoga, even once a week, can help to improve your flexibility, mobility and range of motion. Flexibility increases over time and with regular practice. You may not be able to touch your toes in a standing forward bend when you first start, but by continuing to practice each week, you should start to notice that your forward bend becomes deeper and deeper.
Having a way to relieve stress is important for most people, even if it’s only for 60 or 90 minutes once a week in a yoga class. Both chronic and acute stress can raise your cortisol and blood pressure levels as well as disrupt your sleeping patterns and healthy eating habits. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that yoga can help to reduce stress. The combination of physical activity, deep breathing and mindfulness allows you to burn off tension, slow your heart rate and focus on your actions of the moment.
There are many things throughout the day that can attempt to interfere with your body alignment, such as working on a computer for long hours, driving a car and carrying heavy objects. If you notice your head moving forward, slumping shoulders, a rounded back or an accentuated arch in your back, your body is likely out of alignment and at a greater risk of injury. Yoga helps to reset the body since the poses promote correct alignment and posture. A once-a-week practice can remind you to pull your stomach in, tuck your tailbone, push your shoulders down your back and to keep your neck straight rather than jutting it forward.