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In the West, yoga health benefits are seen as purely physical. While yoga is excellent for achieving this end, it also encompasses an entire realm of mental benefits. It is estimated that roughly 30 million Americans practice yoga, but many have abandoned the mental side which would otherwise minimize or eliminate altogether the stress that comes with their hectic lifestyles. To get you started, here we list a few of the physical and mental benefits of yoga fitness.  
 

PHYSICAL BENEFITS  

Strength: Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, which increases strength.  
 
Muscle tone: Muscles that have become flaccid or weak are stimulated repeatedly to shed excess flab and flaccidity.  
 
Pain Prevention: The additional flexibility and strength afforded by a good regular yoga session can help prevent many types of back pain from ever arising. Yoga health also improves your spinal alignment, both in and out of class, which in turn helps prevent many other types of pain.  
 
Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don`t give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, focus the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breathing can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system.  
 
Complete Detoxification: By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimal flow of blood to various parts of the body. This helps flush out toxins from every nook and cranny as well as providing nourishment to these areas. As a result of these processes, yoga has been linked to everything from delayed aging, large boosts in energy levels, and a remarkable zest for life.  
 
Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments, and tendons: Yoga positions exercise and stretch the different tendons and ligaments of the body, keeping them functional, and limber. Also, certain foods in your diet can help to improve these areas.  
 
Massaging of ALL Organs of the Body: Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity that massages all the glands and internal organs of the body in a decidedly thorough manner, including those–such as the prostate - that hardly get external stimulation throughout our entire lifetime.  
 

MENTAL BENEFITS  

Mental Calmness: Probably the most noticeable mental effect of yoga is the disengagement of the mind from the trivialities of day to day life and subsequent all-encompassing focus on form and breathing. This helps restore balance and some much needed tranquility to the mind.  
 
Stress Reduction: One of the best yoga health benefits is the relief of stress. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will always leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you entered.  
 
Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. Dedicated practice improves posture, increases self-confidence, and enables the practitioner to move with a casual grace.  
 
Spiritual Clarity: Yoga was founded on the principles of physical discipline as a means to clear the mind of distractions--thereby allowing the practitioner to break out of the cycle of negativity and cynicism and begin to objectively explore their lives for their unique spiritual impulses.  
 
If you know someone who enjoys yoga or you, yourself, enjoys yoga, then the YogaAddict Yoga Mat Towel and Hand Towel Combo Set is a great holiday gift to consider. The Yoga mat and hand towel made of 100% premium microfiber material and quite absorbent. Even if yoga is not your thing and you work out in a gym, these are great because in any real work out you most probably sweat. Rather than wiping the sweat all over the place, use the towel and in one wipe the sweat is absorbed. In fact, I actually use these towels to dry off after a shower because it dries me off quicker and better than a regular bath towel!  
 
Although there is no non-skid dots for the towel, it is thicker compared to normal towels and when you want more grip for your hands or feet during your yoga session, just lightly mist or wet the towel in the areas where you want more traction. This will solve any sliding problem as it activates the non-slip properties of the yoga mat towel. Pretty neat right? So you have a towel to dry off OR you can have a non-slip towel for your yoga. Multi-use in items is always a plus for me and captures my attention! When I`m done with my towel I simply toss it in the washing machine and run it on a gentle cycle. I`ve experienced no bleeding and the towel is still in excellent condition. Of course, hand washing may be the best choice for a longer lasting product. Of the various yoga mat towels I have tried, the YogaAddict brand is definitely a favorite of mine!
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