The more you do yoga, the more positive changes you'll notice, but you can benefit from as little as one class a week. Some Students practise daily. Ideally, it is recommended you try for an average of two classes per week.
If you cant touch your toes then you are in the right place. Contrary to popular belief, being flexible isn't a prerequisite for practising Yoga? Some people are born naturally flexible others have to work a little longer to attain their optimum flexibility. A regular Yoga practice will definitely increase your flexibility. However, flexibility isn’t yoga's only goal or its only benefit. The ultimate benefit of yoga - to promote radiant health inside and out - can be experienced by everyone, regardless of whether or not they can touch their toes!
Yoga can be a very spiritual practice for many different people; however, yoga is not a religion, it is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. There are people with all different religious/non religious beliefs who practice yoga, all over the world. It is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga. No matter what your beliefs are--you can practice yoga--it is universal....just another positive and amazing fact about yoga!!
Yoga has proven therapeutic benefits when carefully applied. Speak to your instructor before class if you have an injury or other on-going physical concerns. She will then be able to tell you which poses to avoid and how to work around your problem areas. They may also be able to suggest particular poses you can do on your own that might help.
Many people with hectic schedules only find the time for activities such as yoga in retirement. Retirement is the perfect time to pick up healthy habits that will promote longevity. Many seniors feel that they should follow the advice of "Taking it easy" as they grow older, that is actually what they shouldn’t do. Extended periods of sitting can lead to muscular shortening, tightening and weakening. Lack of weight-bearing activity contributes to osteoporosis. Joint deterioration and loss of flexibility is due to lack of movement and stretching. Many seniors often find that gentle yoga allows them to retain mobility, increase balance and relief from problems such as arthritis and depression.
Yoga balances and tones your body by using all your muscles and taking all your major joints through every possible range of motion. As you begin, you'll be calliing upon parts of yourself you probably haven't used in quite some time, if ever (which explains that temporary soreness). It is natural for some of the poses to feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but you'll discover that with a little time of regular practise, your body will begin to open, adapt and grow stronger. Along with feeling increasingly calm yet energized, centred and relaxed, your subtle increased comfort in the poses will tell you you're making progress.
The reality is that no two humans are created alike and for this reason no two people doing a pose will look the same. Length and width of a body and all its parts have an enormous impact on the pose. There will be some poses that are difficult to perfect or even unattainable for some body types. Yoga teaches us about living in the moment and about accepting ourselves as we are. With the right props the pose can be altered and all of a sudden a pose that was once resented or feared become accessible.