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Admit it: You hate those yoga-mat-toting women who walk around in cute Spandex-y outfits, looking blissed-out all of the time. And if you’re perfectly honest with yourself, the reason why you can’t stand them is because you’re jealous of their glowing, beatific faces. How do they get to be so radiantly calm all the time? Don’t they have deadlines to meet, babies to change and dinner to cook? Sure, they do. But, apparently, they’ve also got a secret weapon to mellow themselves out. It’s not that happy people are drawn to yoga -- it’s that doing asanas on a sticky mat can chill you out, big-time.
And here’s your chance to try it for yourself -- for free. September is also National Yoga Month, where new students can get a pass for one week of free yoga at participating yoga studios all over the country.
Why should you give it a whirl? You mean, besides getting to wear cute-as-a-button workout clothes with names like bliss tanks and care free crops?
While it can definitely help limber you up, yoga isn’t -- as Madonna might have you believe -- just about turning yourself into a pretzel for show. It has a slew of other health benefits, too. Getting bent out of shape on a yoga mat can help keep you from getting that way during the rest of the day.
Research shows that yoga can elevate your mood and help eliminate anxiety, chronic pain and stress. One small study even found sun salutations and other yoga poses are superior to other forms of exercise for boosting your mood and banishing anxiety.
And if a few downward dogs can keep you from throwing a hissy fit, imagine what it could do for your tantrum-loving kids? Kids’ yoga is one of the fastest-growing fitness trends today, prescribed for everything from childhood obesity to ADHD to coping with their parent's divorce. Regardless of how you feel about yoga as a panacea, taking yoga classes with your children is a great way for both of you to spend some quality time together and get your daily quota of exercise. And if you don’t have kids, well, there’s always yoga for dogs.