Workout Wednesday: Yoga – What You Need to Know

People who are unfamiliar with the virtues of yoga view it in several different ways.  Some look upon the activity with disdain and only see the “yogi” sitting on the ground doing nothing. Others consider yoga an activity only for women, the “weak”, or the elderly. And then there are those who think that yoga is wishy-washy spiritual nonsense. All of these views are misconceptions – dead wrong. In fact, yoga has been scientifically proven to increase flexibility, increase circulation, lower blood pressure, increase serotonin levels, lower cholesterol and much more. When done correctly, it can be argued that there are no negative effects of yoga on the body.

yoga woman

There are literally thousands of testimonials to the healing power of yoga. Check out this video to see a war veteran who went from physically disabled to fit using yoga:

Yoga includes a variety of different kinds of movements – ranging from very low exertion to outright difficult. The key is to select movements that best suit your level of fitness and personal goals. Do some personal research to decide which kind of yoga is best for you.

So what does this mean for you? Yoga can be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle, and it’s very easy to start. Yoga can be done at any time of the day- morning, afternoon, or evening. Personally, I find that yoga is a great morning routine, as it helps me wake up and find inner peace before going out into the world.

Here are some tips for the beginner yogi:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing that is light and fitted.
  2. There is no reason to feel nervous. Everyone has a first time.
  3. Bring a water bottle and a towel.
  4. If you feel overwhelmed or tired, it’s ok to lie down for a moment.
  5. Give it your all – fully focus on the movements and leave your outside troubles at the door.
  6. Remember that everyone is at a different point in his or her own fitness journey, so don’t compare yourself to the abilities of those around you. Yoga is not a competition, but rather a personal experience.

yoga woman2

Here are 8 great poses for yoga beginners.

There are several yoga classes available free to UNC students through Campus Rec! Here is the schedule for Ram’s Head Recreation Center.

Workout Wednesday blog posts are written by UNC Campus Recreation staff members. Each Wednesday we’ll be swapping blog posts with the Tarheel Tone Up blog so that our readers can view more diverse post topics that will benefit their health and wellness. Wednesday blog posts can be found both here and on

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