We've all heard that yoga helps improve your body, spirit and mind, but let's dig a little deeper.
Fact No. 1: People who practice yoga are believed to live longer than their counterparts who don’t. This is in large part due to the fact that yoga helps expand your lungs through deep belly-breathing exercises, which benefit your heart. The effect is so strong that a regular yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate, both during and after class. Go ahead and thank your asana for that!
Fact No. 2: Whether you are aware or not, all people have a dominant nostril when they breathe and practice yoga, and that dominance changes about every 20 minutes during the day. It is believed that when the right nostril is more open, we are more fired up, active and aroused. When the left nostril is dominant, we are relaxed and at ease. There are also various breathing techniques you can practice to help regulate the left and right nostrils, which in return creates balance in the nervous system.
Fact No. 3: If you're looking to spice up your sex life, you may want to schedule a little more time for some sun salutations. A growing body of research shows that yoga can improve sex and may even prevent and treat sex problems by increasing the overall health of the cardiovascular system. On that same note, it has also been credited with helping improve orgasms by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, also known as moola bandha, which provides benefits similar to Kegel exercises. I think that deserves an om.
Fact No. 4: Yes, there is such a thing as "doga" — a type of yoga used to achieve harmony between yogis and their pets. According to The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman, the practice first started in New York in 2002 when Suzi Teitelman started yoga for dogs. During doga, pups can perform poses on their own, alongside their yogi master or as a prop for their parent. Now that, my friends, is a true down dog.
Fact No. 5: According to Guinness world records, the world's oldest yoga teacher is 85-year-old Bette Calman from Australia, although 90-year-old Gladys Morris from England is petitioning to be recognized as the oldest. I feel like the only way to settle this one is on the mat — #yogabattle!
Fact No. 6: Granted, it's not for everyone, but in case you're interested, you do have the option to wear your birthday suit to yoga class. Yes, friends, "hot nude yoga" is a thing. And while it's a little too racy for this yogi, lots of people are jumping on the bare-it-all bandwagon and raving about the experience. According to an article on fitsugar.com, naked yogis claim these classes "deepen their yoga practice, encourage ultimate appreciation, acceptance and love for their bodies, and also build intimate bonds with people in their yoga community." Well, I guess that's one way to make new friends!
Fact No. 7: Yoga is your answer to looking more youthful. A consistent yoga practice helps reverse processes that happen as our bodies age, such as increased oxidation and acidity, cell damage and inflamed tissues, which can all lead to illness and disease over time. Research has shown that a consistent yoga practice helps decrease all these conditions for better long-term health, not to mention younger-looking skin. Can I get a namaste?
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