Amazing Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an age-old activity that has been practiced for literally thousands upon thousands of years. Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which literally means to ‘integrate and unite the physical body and the spirit’, yoga has a rich and storied history and has been practiced as far back as the fifth century BC. To this very day, yoga is more popular than ever, with people of all ages, genders, shapes, and sizes now making this wonderful practice a part of their everyday lives. It’s easy for us to sit here and talk about how great yoga is, but exactly what is it that makes yoga so amazing? Actually, there are a number of things, far too many for us to list them all. Instead, what we will do is choose just four of the countless spiritual and physical benefits of yoga on the body and mind, so you can decide whether yoga is for you. Take a look and see what you think.
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Yoga improves your strength
If you thought that the only way of building up your strength was to head to the gym and lift heavy weights, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. One of the main advantages of practicing yoga on a regular basis, is the fact that it has been proven to help increase a person’s overall strength levels. You see, virtually all of the poses required for yoga will target and engage muscles in your core, helping to build core strength. Your core is responsible for generating functional, all round strength that will help you in everyday life. Not only that, but core strength will also help enhance athletic ability and help reduce the likelihood of you suffering an injury.
Yoga significantly improves flexibility and mobility
When people think of the health and wellness benefits of yoga, this benefit is commonly the first example that springs to mind, and why wouldn’t it? You see, due to its very nature, yoga is, without question, one of the most effective ways of helping to improve a person’s flexibility and mobility. Each pose is different and requires different ranges of motion, which engage different muscle fibres and tissues. Due to its calm and gentle nature, yoga also ensures that the stretching is carried out safely and gently, which again reduces the likelihood of an injury being sustained. As the muscles are stretched, tension is released and muscle fibre elasticity is also improved, which encourages the muscles to relax and allows them to stretch and lengthen without them feeling tight and over-stretched. Put simply, if you wish to improve your flexibility and mobility, yoga is a fantastic pastime for you.
Yoga is fantastic for your mental health and well-being
All forms of exercise have been found to have very beneficial effects on a person’s mental health and well-being, but yoga takes things to a whole new level. You see, yoga helps to bring together the body and the mind, which helps you to build on your mindfulness and to live in the present. Mindfulness has been found to have a calming effect on the mind, helping to promote rest and relaxation. Yoga also helps to promote the production and secretion of endorphins such as serotonin, adrenalin, and melatonin, all of which are referred to as ‘happy chemicals’ as they help to promote feelings of confidence, happiness, mental clarity, calmness, and overall well-being. They also combat the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol, which can disrupt sleep patterns and leave us feeling stressed and anxious.
Yoga also helps to relieve pain, such as migraine, neck and back pain.
Yoga helps reduce blood pressure
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the most dangerous and most common health issues in the developed worlds. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and arteries, it damages the kidneys, it promotes cardiovascular disease, it can lead to strokes, it can lead to chronic inflammation, and it can even lead to heart attacks and a significant risk of death. Another great benefit of yoga is the fact that it has been proven to significantly reduce a person’s blood pressure. One of the main reasons for this is that yoga promotes deep breathing and relaxation, which of course helps to reduce stress, and can help to keep blood pressure nice and low. Yoga is also a form of cardiovascular exercise, albeit a low intensity one, which will help to keep your weight under control, and again, will also help to reduce your blood pressure and protect you against the ill effects of hypertension.
To conclude, there are many benefits of yoga. The above is only four of the amazing benefits of yoga. If you are looking to improve your strength, improve flexibility and mobility, yoga is a the perfect way to do that.
Have you tried yoga? Tell us about your experience.