Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is beyond a sport; it’s a way of life. Many experiments over the years have found that yoga has a direct effect on the nervous system, heart rate and the body’s ability to heal various ailments. Its effect lies not only in the physical part of the body but also in it’s direct effect on the mind.
Improved flexibility is one of the clearest benefits of Yoga practice. Although at first, you won’t be able to effectively do every pose, however you’ll notice a gradual loosening of your body, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.
It has been determined that the constant practice of Yoga can help prevent and alleviate arthritis degenerative ailments.
The spinal disks crave movement, this is the only way they can get their nutrients, and with the stretching movements of yoga, you’ll help keep your disks supple.
Yoga strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis. It can also lower the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol, helping to keep calcium in the bones.
Yoga makes the blood flow more, carrying more oxygen to the cells. Yoga postures allow oxygenated blood to flow to the internal organs, keeping them healthy, also boost Hemoglobin levels and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Yoga also helps reduce Heart attacks and strokes because it thins the blood platelets are less sticky and by cutting the level of clotting proteins in the blood.
Yoga helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells and get rid of waste products that derive from the functioning of cells.
The constant practice of yoga, not only is going to help you stay fit, but it will also help you from the inside out, by improving your perception of all situations, either in happiness or stress, and connecting us with ourselves at a deeper level.
We talked to Waka Yogi, to know learn more about this beautiful practice. Waka Yogi is a Yoga teacher in Japan with 7 years experience teaching regular and hot yoga in both Tokyo and Osaka. In 2013 she made a 20 episode Yoga TV show for Fox Japan supported by Reebok, and she also appeared on Asia’s Next Top Model 2 as a guest Yoga teacher. In early 2014, with the full support of Google, she filmed 650 yoga poses at the YouTube Tokyo Creator Space. Here you can visit Waka Yogi´s youtube channel.
Why did you start practicing yoga?
I used to be a long distance swimmer for about 10 years and I was swimming up to 16km a day, so I have always been very healthy. About 7 years ago I decided to apply for a job as a Hot Yoga teacher in Osaka as I wanted to make my profession teaching people to be super healthy. In Japan most Yoga schools are very high class and expensive places, the schools are seen as a luxurious place to relax and rejuvenate. People do Yoga to unwind and de-stress so it is a very positive profession as I really get to help a lot of people feel better about their bodies and their lives. I love teaching Yoga.
How did the practice of yoga change your life?
Teaching Yoga has allowed me to add value to many people in my life. Everyone looks up to you as a healthy person and in a way you become a community leader.
I have been able to teach and inspire thousands of people to become healthier, more relaxed and happier so this has been a very positive thing for me. It has made me very happy.
For me personally it has really toned every part of my body and it makes me a happy person. Nothing is better than relaxing people for a living.
How long did it take you to master the practice of yoga?
When I was a long distance swimmer we used to stretch for at least 20 minutes before each session. So I found that I could learn Yoga very fast as I never lost my innate flexibility that many people do from not doing regular exercise. However, over the last seven years I have continually studied and I have always been looking to learn new and interesting poses. I don’t believe anyone masters yoga, rather it is a lifelong journey.
Why did you start your yoga YouTube channel?
After the success of my Yoga show on Fox, I heard that Google was building a new 12 million dollar YouTube Creator Space in Tokyo. There was already one in London, New York and LA, so I was very excited. They generously allowed me to use their facilities to film 650 Yoga poses professionally. It was very exciting. Now I can teach yoga to anyone in the world 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It is very humbling.
What are you looking to change in others people’s lives with your yoga Youtube channel?
The idea of my site is that you can design your own Yoga lessons using the playlist feature of YouTube. When you buy a DVD or attend a lesson, often there are many poses that you cannot do or are too difficult for you for a variety of reasons. With my Yoga YouTube channel you can tailor your own Yoga lessons to exactly your ability and available time. There are hundreds of beginner, intermediate and challenge poses, plus I have also filmed many preparation poses as well as variations of the more popular poses. Many people only end up practicing a narrow range of Yoga poses in their classes. With my Yoga YouTube channel I hope to make Yoga more accessible to beginners by demonstrating a wide range of interesting poses so that it always remains new.
What would you recommend to someone who wants to start practice yoga?
I would suggest they start with very simple basic stretches. Try to understand the limitations of your body and don’t try anything too difficult until you are absolutely ready. Learning yoga is a slow process that should always be done safely. On my YouTube channel I have 48 warm up and cool down poses, so I strongly suggest you start with those.