Yoga is an ancient but comprehensive approach to general wellness and full-body health. It combines postures, deep relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises to achieve this.
Yoga has been popular in India for thousands of years and is rapidly gaining popularity globally.
The benefits of yoga include; increased flexibility, improved energy levels, increased metabolic rate, and relief for backaches. Yoga can also aid in regulating blood pressure levels, managing symptoms of diabetes, as well as relieving numerous forms of aches.
Below are various health benefits of yoga;
1. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Yoga regulates oxygen and blood circulation in the body. It also reduces stress levels and increases the happy hormone neurotransmitter. All these effects reduce inflammation. Additionally, when doing calming pranayama exercises, where the out-breathe length is increased, you get to significantly reduce inflammation.
2. Yoga Helps To Flush Toxins From Your Body
Are you looking for a better way to detoxify your body without spending a dime on expensive supplements? Well… yoga is one of the best ways to do this from the comfort of your own home. Reduce your toxic load by performing twisting yoga asanas. There are also other yoga practices that help to remove toxic substances from your body. Yoga doesn’t only detoxify your body, but your minds as well through meditation.
3. Enhances Proper Spine Alignment
With the busy lives we are living today, the better part of the day is spent hunched over a desk, steering wheel, or computer/phone screen. This kind of lifestyle emphasizes the thoracic spine kyphotic curve. As a result, you collapse your chest, putting a lot of pressure on your lower back, heart, and lungs. This could also lead to a bad mood for the better part of the day. Yoga, on the other hand, helps you to open your chest and stand a little bit taller, giving you an instant positive impact on your moods and general well-being.
4. Enhances Brain Power
During yoga, you engage your body in movements that are totally different from your normal patterns. This challenges your brain and as a result, it works harder. This helps improve the health of your brain and improves its power. Yoga practices that involve crossing limbs over your body and twisting asanas, work perfectly in balancing your brain hemispheres. In order to balance your system daily, you can try doing Nadi Shodhana, which is a practice that involves a channel cleansing breath. This helps you a lot to calm the mind and balance your brain.
5. Soothes Your Skin
Did you know that your skin is among the first organs in your body to display nutrient deficiency and stress signs? Well, now you know and in case your skin has these symptoms, yoga is one of the practices that you can engage in to clear your skin. By practicing meditation and pranayama, which are the two most calming yoga practices, you give your body enhanced circulation of air and blood. This, as a result, reduces your levels of stress, which is a long lasting remedy for conditions like eczema and acne.
6. Gives A Metabolic Boost
Early morning yoga is an effective way to boost your metabolism. Yoga activates/improves your breathing, muscles, and blood circulation even before you eat anything. As a result, once you take your breakfast, the food nutrients are readily absorbed into your system. Yoga practices are strong enough to build your muscles and to dramatically give a metabolic boost. These practices also involve breathing deeply and fully which increases circulation of blood in your body. Hence, your metabolism remains elevated all day long, keeping you active and productive.
7. Sharpens Focus
During yoga, your mind is clutter-free and quieter. This makes it easier to direct your energy towards the goals you want to achieve. Through practice, yoga helps you to develop one-pointedness concentration called “Ekaggata:. Consequently, this trains your mind to be present and aware all the time. As a matter of fact, studies show that after one practices yoga, people get a heightened ability to focus on mental resources and process information in a more accurate manner. Therefore, yoga helps you to learn, update and hold pieces of information more effectively.
8. It Is A Lifelong Lesson
Yoga is not age-sensitive. This means that you will never have to quit yoga because you are too old. Neither would you wait to practice yoga until you are at a certain age. Yoga is an amazing exercise that can be done by people of different ages. There are practices that are fit for babies, teenagers, and even elderly people. All one is required to do is to find the type of yoga practice that helps them to listen to their body.
9. Makes One More Open-Minded
With yoga, you are able to learn that life is dynamic and no situation is permanent. This means that both the positive and negative things in life come and go. Being aware of this and comprehending it at a deeper level makes it simple to accept all situations in life. You also gain the ability to remain positive and present through challenging times.
10. Increases Compassion
Yoga has a certain practice known as Matta Bhavana. This is the loving-kindness meditation, which is meant to maximize kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others. Human beings are created in a unique way that helps them to feel emotions and be compassionate. However, our modern way of living is doing a great job in ensuring that humans experience a feeling of high disconnection than ever before. But the truth is; all the thoughts you entertain and the actions you partake directly impact your world. Therefore, practicing kindness and love for others makes a huge difference than one can ever understand.
11. Offers A Natural Wind-Down
Do you love chatting with friends and family over social media? Or do you love watching movies whenever you have free time? They say that change is as good as a rest. Try doing restorative yoga practices for a change. They are an incredible way to calm your nervous system. This way, you get enhanced sleep quality and as a result of this, your digestive system would also function well all night long. Consequently, you would always have enough energy to wake up early and be productive all day long.
12. It Helps You To Listen To Your Body Keenly
Yoga is that practice that assists you to be more aware of your body and its needs. In yoga classes, teachers emphasize on listening to your body. However, most people do not understand the meaning of that. Effective yoga practices encourage gradual progress rather than instant gain and feeling instead of forcing. Yoga exercises also deal with helpful movements which aren’t harmful. Those who practice yoga have high responsiveness to bodily sensations, even body satisfaction and more body awareness than those who do not engage in yoga. Once you listen to your body during yoga, you learn more about regulating your effort.
13. Boosts Self-Awareness
Yoga is a personal and internal practice, unlike group sports activities. This is ironical because at times you do yoga in a class that is packed with numerous other people. However, despite practicing yoga as a group, the focus is on oneself and what is happening within you. One of the “8 limbs” of yoga is Pratyahara. Pratyahara helps the practitioner to turn one’s awareness and senses inward so as to allow the discovery of a person’s mind and body. Since there is no time that you will step out of your mind or body as long as you live, this practice is worth the time invested in it.
14. Frees Your Feet
Did you know that being barefoot is highly critical for your feet’s health? These days, a lot of shoes are made for looks rather than to boost comfort and feel. It should, therefore, not be a surprise when you realize that your favorite pair could be the one promoting pain and ache. The feet do a great job in supporting your body. This means that you should reward them by giving them time to move freely and breathe. It is also important to ensure that the bones, arches, and joints of your feet enjoy natural movement. This promotes proper spine alignment in your body.
15. Adds Meaning To Your Day
Yoga has a very profound objective when it comes to adding some meaning into your day. When you spend some time to set focus and intention in the morning before anything else, it becomes easy to make better decisions every single day. Yoga helps people to set an intention which makes them more aware of their thoughts and actions. This gives your day more meaning and purpose.
16. Regulates Your Body Clock
In ancient times, people would wake up when the sun rose and retire to bed once darkness sets in. However, things changed with the invention of electricity as well as the light bulb. As such, in modern times, people lead busy lives that work against natural body functioning, where they do not rest at night. Between 10 pm and 2 am, your body should rest as that is the natural time of rejuvenation. Engaging in early morning yoga practice ensures that you wake up close to sunrise and head out as soon as possible for the morning sunlight. Between 6 am and 8 am, this is the best time for spiritual exercises and practices like walking and asana.
17. Aids In Gratitude Expression
In ancient times, yogis practiced waking up when the sun rose to do sun salutations. This practice is known as Surya Namaskar and it is a great and amazing way to welcome a new day. It is also a way to pay homage to the sun the source of life, warmth, and light.
18. Boosts The Body And Mind Balance
The brain fires neurons whenever you balance yoga postures. These neurons assist with spatial awareness and muscle memory. Additionally, in daily yoga exercise, using your feet regularly strengthens your feet muscles.
19. Enables You To Beat The Blues
Are you looking for a way to get into a better mood? Movement does this really well and it’s even more effective during yoga. Therefore, yoga is a great remedy when you need to battle the blues. It is a practice that helps to release hormones which boost your mood by tapping into your nervous system. When practicing yoga, you should focus on something positive. This is an effective way to bring positivity into your mind, thus, making you smile often without you knowing.
20. Enhances Breathing
When starting out, beginners usually struggle with the emphasis on breathing during yoga. However, once they get accustomed to that, it becomes second nature to move while they breathe. There is a profound impact on general well-being associated with the ability to breathe deeply and fully. This is why yoga is worth engaging in, every single day.
21. Hydrates Your Spine
The release of synovial fluid into the spinal column is very critical. Moving the spine in a healthy and safe manner facilitates this impact. There is a little more fluid in the spine in the morning. However, in the evening, the spine tends to be more dehydrated and compressed. Therefore, engaging in spine lengthening postures and inversions facilitate the release of synovial fluid into the spinal column.
22. Space Is Never A Concern
Yoga, unlike other physical activities, only requires space for your body. Therefore, you can practice it in the office, airplanes, jail cells and even dorm rooms. Yoga can take place anywhere as long as your body can fit into the given space.
23. Offers Some Alone Time
Alone time is very important, especially to those who use their time taking care of others. Serving others is an important life aspect, which connects us more to the world. Nonetheless, for you to give, you need to be full and complete first.
24. Strengthens The Muscles
Strong body muscles not only look good but also protects you from conditions like back pain and arthritis. Moreover, they also prevent falls in aged individuals. The strength you build during yoga is balanced through flexibility. This is why yoga is an important physical activity because other activities build strength while compromising flexibility.
25. Protects You From Viruses And Allergies
Yoga has cleansing practices known as Kriyas. Kriyas include everything from elaborate internal intestinal cleansings to rapid breathing exercises. Jala neti, which is a yoga practice that involves a gentle lavage of nasal passages with saline water gets rid of viruses and pollen from your nose. Such practice aids in draining the sinuses and prevents mucus from building up.
26. Saves Relationships
Love may not help in every life aspect, but it sure aids in healing. One of the things that enhance healing and health is cultivating the emotional support of community, friends, and family. Regular yoga exercises nurture greater equanimity, friendliness, and compassion. Numerous yogic philosophies put an emphasis on keeping others from harm, taking only what you need and being transparent. In a lot of ways, these would greatly enhance your relationships.
27. Keeps You Drug-Free
Can your medicine cabinet be confused for a pharmacy? If yes, you should probably start considering taking yoga classes. Research shows that individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes, obsessive-compulsive disorder, asthma, and high blood pressure get a lot of help from yoga. This is because yoga aids in relieving their numerous symptoms as well as reducing their medication dosage. There are cases where yoga has helped individuals get off drugs completely.
28. Promotes Inner Strength
When well-practiced, yoga should aid in helping you make changes in various life aspects. Actually, this might be the greatest advantage of yoga. In Sanskrit, Tapas is the name used to refer to heat (Ascetic Heat). It is the subject that fuels yoga and it is the foundation that regular practice builds. The tapas you generate can help you change dysfunctional habits and overcome initial reluctance to change. After some time of practicing yoga, you would notice that you would start eating better, quit smoking, and exercise more without necessarily making effort to change anything.
29. Immune System Boost
Pranayama and Asana mainly enhance immune function. In addition, meditation also plays a great role in improving the immune system in your body. One way, yoga improves your immunity is by increasing the levels of antibodies in the body in response to vaccination. Another way yoga practices strengthen your immune system is by ending an aggressive immune function that is inappropriate in conditions like psoriasis.
30. Improves System Relaxation
Yoga is one of the practices that boost relaxation in your body. This happens by focusing on the present and slowing your breath. During yoga, you also learn to focus your balance on the parasympathetic nervous system rather than on the sympathetic nervous system. This is because the former is restorative and calming.
31. Drains Your Lymph
When you stretch and contract muscles, come in and out of yoga postures, and move organs and tissues around, you maximize the drainage of lymph. This is the viscous fluid that is found in immune cells. As a result, the lymphatic system is able to better fight cancerous cells, expunge toxic waste products and fight infections.
32. Takes Care Of Bone Health
Exercises that are weight bearing help ward off osteoporosis and strengthen bones. A lot of yoga postures need you to lift your own weight. Moreover, practices like upward and downward-facing dog strengthens the bones of your arms. These are the bones that are highly vulnerable to fractures.
33. Enhances Better Posture
The head is a round, big and heavy ball that exerts a lot of pressure on your back and neck muscles if not properly balanced over your spine. In the long run, poor posture leads to joint, muscle, neck and back problems. Yoga corrects wrong posture and this helps to prevent degenerative arthritis and spinal pain.
34. Enhances Flexibility
This is one of the major benefits of yoga. In your first yoga class, touching your toes seems to be a challenge. However, as you get used to yoga postures there is a gradual loosening and the poses that seemed impossible become possible. Pains and aches start disappearing as you continue practicing yoga.
35. Nourishes The Spine
The only way to nourish your spinal disks is through movement. These shock absorbers between spinal vertebrae can compress and herniate nerves. Therefore, you need to make movement to make sure you are alright. With a well-balanced asana exercise, that is, twists, backbends, and forward bends, you can perfectly keep your disks in good condition.
36. Maximizes Blood Circulation
Yoga involves physical activities that enhance blood flow in your body. The relaxation exercises carried out during yoga aids in blood circulation. Through yoga, more oxygen is able to access your cells, making your body function better. Furthermore, the twisting poses in yoga eliminate venous blood from the internal organs, allowing more oxygenated blood to access vital organs once you release the twist.
37. Eliminates Anxiety
Tense muscles, shallow breathing, and poor posture are both causes and results of anxiety. If for a long time, an anxiety cycle has been stuck in your system, your body would have developed mechanisms to protect itself by using short and sharp breaths, being physically closed off and remaining tense among other responses. Yoga uses the mind and body interconnection to relax muscles and improve posture. This reduces anxiety as a result.
38. Energizes Your System
Does your morning routine commence by dragging yourself from bed and taking a cup of coffee? Well… you can do better than this if you tried kapalabhati pranayama or 10 rounds of Surya Namaskar. Yoga has energizing impacts on your nervous system. If at any time, during the day you feel the need to re-energize, engage yourself in some minutes of asana practice. This would help rejuvenate you, re-balance your nervous system, and calm the mind.
39. Gives More Strength
Did you think that yoga is all about bending and stretching? Well…. you have been misguided all this time. Yoga also pumps a surprising amount of energy in your system. The physical strength that comes from yoga boosts metabolic activities, improves the immune system, and prevents injury. As a result, everyday tasks become easier.
40. Increases Mindfulness
Mindfulness is not necessarily meditating for a long period of time. It is also not something profound which is hard to keep up with. Mindfulness means paying extra attention to every action you are about to do. This means that you would be more alive, alert, aware and present in every moment.
41. Makes You Feel Better
Do you want to feel better? Consider taking a suitable yoga class for your level and give it your all with an open mind. This is a decision that you would not regret and it would definitely deliver better feelings. You would start feeling more open, happier, present and different. Just give yoga a try and thank me later.
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