4 Reasons Why Fathers Should Try Yoga
As Father’s day comes along, people all over the world are looking for what to gift their fathers. The temptation to go with the generic father’s day gift such as ties, cufflinks or socks will be hard to resist. But why not try something different this year and book a yoga class for your father? There are several benefits to practicing yoga so in honor of father’s day, here are 4 reasons why fathers should try out yoga.
1. It Reduces Stress
The number one killer of men in the U.S is heart disease. Stress can affect factors and behaviors that are known to increase the risk of heart disease. If you know that your dad is stressed out (and really who isn’t?), then a yoga mat may be the best gift you can give your father this Father’s day.
Studies show that yoga activates the Vagus nerve (an influential parasympathetic nerve that affects the heart) making the parasympathetic nervous system more dominant than the adrenalin-based sympathetic nervous system.
Essentially, yoga boosts the “rest and digest” nervous system while lowering the “fight or flight” nervous system. And this in turns reduces the workload of the heart and also the blood pressure. Poses that help with reducing stress include the Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) and any other forward bend.
2. It improves flexibility
Most men complain about their lack of flexibility. Fortunately, most yoga poses help to improve muscle suppleness and the range of motion of your joints. If you have poor range of motion then you’ll want to start up with standing poses such as Warrior I, Warrior II, simple twists, forward bends like Upavistha Konasana and Trikonasana (Triangle).
Remember to start off slow. If you can’t accomplish a position as a result of your reduced range of motion, don’t try to force it to happen otherwise you’ll end up hurting yourself. The key to yoga is patience, being kind to yourself and all living beings.
3. It eases back pain
Chances are your father suffers from some occasional back pain. One benefit of yoga, and possibly its strongest swaying factor, is its ability to alleviate back pain. Yoga is about 80% successful in relieving back pain. The poses that’ll help will depend on the area the pain is originating from and the specific condition. However, some recommended poses for those suffering from a herniated disc include Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) and Salabhasana (Locust Pose).
4. It may help get rid of your beer gut
There are yoga poses that stimulate the stretch receptors in the duodenum and stomach. and this, in turn, assists in turning off the appetite centers of your brain. Poses like Warrior I, Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana) and Warrior II 20 minutes before any meal will help to reduce your caloric intake. Additionally, yoga helps you get better acquainted with the workings of your own anatomy and this helps in curbing any urge for extra servings.