Can yoga can give me superpower? Mixing mindfulness and body awareness with improved health, strength, and flexibility, yoga just might make me a superman.
Superpower Yoga – where mind and body meet
Science has recognized the benefits of yoga for a long time. But it still has trouble understanding why it works so well in the areas of the mind.
Yogic masters have made claims that science finds hard to validate. These include tales of astral projection, telepathy, and superhuman strength. Over the years what we know about the human brain has improved tremendously. And science has made some big steps towards connecting the ways this ancient, once esoteric, practice unlocks tons of potential in humans.
Yoga combines exercise and meditation into a seamless unit. It is where the mind meets the body. Physical awareness and control are major goals of practice. So is the proper breathing technique. We know the mindful meditation changes the structure of the human brain. Yoga adds physical movement and balance while in a mindful state. This can make the results even more profound.
Superpower yoga has incredible benefits
Yogis who have practiced for years have demonstrated mental control over automatic bodily functions like heart rate and body temperature. But lesser mortals have also demonstrated the ability to lower blood pressure, develop better focus, overcome depression, change habits, and lose weight.
Other benefits from regular yoga practice can include:
- Improved stamina
- Greater physical strength and flexibility
- Healthy weight loss
- Relief from stress and anxiety
- Mindfulness and greater calm
- Core strength, balance, and overall health
There are also mental and psychological factors that improve with yoga. Control over your body leads to greater self-confidence and control over other parts of your life. Yoga helps you slow down and not react impulsively to life’s little upsets. And yoga connects you to other people.
Why is yoga the “best exercise”?
Yoga has come a long way since it broke into Western cultures mainstream. And estimates say that around 35 million people regularly practice yoga in the US alone. Once it was viewed suspiciously as a spiritual Eastern import that relied on chanting and incense. It is now viewed as a means to better health in all areas of life: physical, mental, and spiritual.
Why do people tout it as being the “best exercise”? It may not bet the best for individual results. You won’t be able to run a marathon or bench 300 pounds by only performing downward-facing dog. To train for a marathon you have to get out and run. If your goal is to build big muscles then you have to hit the weights. But as far as being the best overall exercise regimen, yoga has a lot to recommend it:
Basically, yoga is free. Sure, you can join classes and invest in equipment, coaches, and videos. But at its most basic level, yoga requires no membership to practice. Schooling can be gotten for free. And no specialized equipment is needed. You can practice in your living room with a bath towel, following some simple moves you obtained from the internet.
Yoga is low-impact. There is no running or jumping in yoga. You are encouraged to stretch, but not to strain. You listen to your body. There is no impact on the joints and spine. This makes it possible to perform yoga regardless of your age or physical condition.
Yoga encourages positive changes in your life. People have used yoga to lose weight, stop smoking, quit drugs, get off depression medication, and control anger issues. The physical movement gives focus to your mindfulness and you tune into what your body is feeling. As a result, you perceive the relationship between better health and better habits.
Yoga makes you stronger. Modern western yoga is splintered into many subsects. Gentle yoga, power yoga, yoga for expecting moms, DDP yoga… But most routines and poses are designed to improve strength through body-weight resistance. Yoga stretches your muscles and increases your range of movement, leading to greater strength. And yoga promotes core strength, power in the hips, and flexibility in the joints.
Yoga is holistic. Deep immersion into any sport or exercise is going to provide enhanced results. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed that people performing in a state of flow did substantially better than people whose hearts and (most importantly) minds were not in the game. Yoga’s physical sphere is inseparable from mental disciple. Its goal is that state of flow where everything drops away, the attention focuses like a laser, and the only moment is the now. Beyond the physical benefits, practitioners carry yoga’s mindfulness practice out of the studio and into the world. It, like meditation, has a brain-changing effect on you. It can make you a more focused, calm, and compassionate person.
How I’m going to use superpower yoga to become super-human
I’ve been into yoga for many years, just not a regular practitioner (as with so many other things that can improve my life). As I push forward on my goals to get fit and live fully I believe that yoga will become an everyday part of my life.
How will yoga change me from a Clark Kent to a Kal-El? First, it can help me lose weight over the next four months. That will be a super-feat in itself.
Next, it will provide me with a workout routine that I can do no matter the time or location. If I have a space large enough to lay down in, then I have room to practice a powerful yoga routine.
I will get stronger, healthier, and more balanced by practicing yoga. It staves off lifestyle diseases, which allows me to be fit enough to enjoy the adventure of life. When I pair yoga with my other workouts, I will see an increase in my performance levels and results.
Yoga will turn back the clock on my arthritis and joint pain. I’ll enjoy greater longevity and quality of life.
Finally, yoga and meditation will work together to allow my brain to do some really remarkable, super-human things. Just a few of the mighty powers I will cultivate include:
- Become more resistant to pain.
- Tolerate heat and cold without discomfort.
- Relax and fall asleep quicker. I will also have a better quality of sleep.
- Be able to focus and concentrate more effectively.
- Become organized and purposeful, having a vision and pursuing it.
- Choose what to respond to and what not to react to.
- Become able to step back and observe the big picture, and then pinpoint the place where I can have the most impact.
Those are the super-human qualities I need now. The red cape is a bonus.