Yoga as a relaxation technique is becoming more popular in the West as a stress management tool.
This relaxation exercise is not new however, and has been practiced in the East for many centuries.
Many people, however, may not know that yoga is not just a stress reduction technique. Practicing yoga intensely and correctly is an excellent cardio exercise as well.
Although yoga basically involves conscious breathing coupled with movement, you will be surprised that, with the right instructor, an hour long practice can leave you sweating and physically spent.
Throw out the Myths: The Benefits of Yoga are Tremendous
One does not need to be capable of folding into a pretzel to derive benefits from yoga. Nor does one need to be as good as the seemingly boneless person on the cover of magazines.
The basic theme in starting what may become your most cherished stretches and bends is the same.
Firstly, correct conscious breathing - you may be surprised that many people don't even know what right breathing really is.
Then add controlled stretching, bending, twisting, and balancing.
As well, these are great metaphors for daily living, and you will find that yoga can also reveal itself as a metaphor for how you are in dealing with life's issues.
For example, if you are feeling out of balance in a certain area of your life, it is not surprising to find yourself tipping over during a balance pose you would normally easily do on a balanced day.Practicing with a teacher is great as they can help you tweak your poses and help you learn how not to strain or hurt yourself unnecessarily.
Of course, you can do this right at home. There are dozens of instructional DVD's, videos or books that make it possible for just about anybody to get started.
Armed with your yoga mat, and perhaps a set of cool gear to get you in the mood, starting even with a 5-15 minutes a day exercise will do wonders for you.
A consistent and regular practice has been known to help provide incredible benefits.