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By April Clark, Owner of Second Wind Eco Tours & Yoga

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to recommit to our physical fitness goals. Research indicates that losing weight or getting fit is the number one New Year's resolution in the U.S. A key to success is to engage in a physical activity that works for you, regardless of age, size and abilities. Yoga can be a great choice in helping you accomplish your goals. Experts agree that increasing your physical activity through yoga is a good first step toward losing weight.

Some of the physical benefits of yoga:

Increases body awareness
Strengthens and lengthens the muscles Increases range of motion in joints Improves balance and coordination
Facilitates weight loss

Mental benefits of yoga:

Improves concentration
Better management of anxiety and depression
Reduces stress
Improves mood

Mindfulness is a component of yoga and extends beyond the physical practice. It helps with mental clarity and promotes calmness and induces relaxation responses. This is an important element of the practice of yoga because we pay more attention to ourselves. We are better able to recognize when we are stressed. Many people have the tendency to eat more when they are stressed and yoga can help alleviate stress. By practicing yoga we become more aware of what and how much we are eating and we are able to make better food choices.

If you have made goals this year to lose weight or become more fit, yoga can be a great compliment to a regular workout routine coupled with good nutrition. Another key to success is to have a plan which includes an accountability partner. Joining forces with like minded individuals may provide you with the edge to make you successful with this year's resolutions.


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