Yoga has been practiced for centuries, and for good reason. Yoga has many health benefits for your mind and body. Here are some amazing benefits of yoga.
7 Benefits of Yoga
Everyone has heard of yoga, yet surprisingly, many people are not aware of the benefits that even light yoga exercise provides for the body. In fact, I would be one of those people. I love to run, go for walks and attend Jazzercise class, but I can honestly say that I have only been to a handful of yoga classes. And the reason I haven’t been to more yoga classes is that I would say that I am not flexible enough to reap the benefits of yoga. But after my mom took me to a few of her yoga classes, I realized that is exactly what yoga is for. In fact, the benefits of yoga extend beyond flexibility and affect the entire body and mind. Yoga is an ancient practice of meditation and exercise has been a part of human culture for thousands of years, I guess there is a good and healthy reason for that 😉
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga increases the flexibility
By increasing flexibility, you can improve the strength of muscles and tendons. The fluid motions of yoga poses provide postural strength without causing stress on joints like the knees and shoulders. With proper practice, yoga works each muscle in every direction. This means that your body is provided with a balanced workout.
Yoga increases your strength and muscle
Yoga increases core strength and lowers the amount of cellulite which accumulates around muscle. Creating long and lean muscles tends to decrease total body weight. This benefit was one that I was surprised by, I was one of those people that always thought you needed high intensity cardio or strength and conditioning to increase muscle mass and promote strength. I was wrong.
Yoga can increase metabolism
Um, yes please. Now that I am past that dreaded of 40, I need all the help I can get with my metabolism. Yoga can help alter our metabolism, and increasing the metabolic rate in the human body makes it much easier to maintain a healthy weight, especially as a person ages.
Yoga promotes restful sleep, peaceful moods and can reduce stress
The combination of body, mind, and breathing exercises contribute to a more relaxed state of being, which means less stress! The inclusion of meditation in yoga practice creates a peaceful feeling throughout the body and mind. This peace can help to elevate mood and lower cortisol levels in the body. Many people who practice yoga feel a sense of connection with their body that is not attained through any other type of exercise. I would have to say that this is one of my favorite potential benefits of yoga, I don’t know about you, but I could definitely handle a little less stress.
Yoga benefits the cardiovascular system
Some yoga poses are shown to lower blood pressure and triglycerides. Inverted poses, like Downward Facing Dog, improve the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. Consistent practice of yogic exercise can slow your resting heart rate and cause your body to consume less oxygen. It also lowers respiratory rates because of the breathing exercises involved in many poses. Your body learns to use oxygen more efficiently when you control your breathing. This combination of respiratory control and lower heart rate increases your cardiovascular endurance dramatically.
Yoga can benefit the digestive system
People who practice yoga daily also enjoy an improved digestive system. Although practicing yoga is not necessarily a fast way to lose weight, it creates a mentality which encourages healthy eating. Many people experience weight loss through their yoga exercise. Pain tolerance is also increases through the slow stretching movements of yogic poses. Yoga is recommended by many physicians as a way to alleviate back, shoulder and neck pain, it is also often prescribed with massage to treat chronic lower back pain.
Yoga is said to boost your immune system
When practicing yoga regularly, your body will have a lowered heart rate and blood pressure, this state provides a boost to your immune system. Yoga is often used to help strengthen a person’s immune response.
Do you practice yoga? What would you say are the benefits of yoga?
The combination of meditation and exercise creates an improved connection between your mind and body, making yoga good for the mind, body and soul. This helps to improve memory retention, coordination and balance. Yoga is truly an exercise for all ages, my mom is in her mid 60s and she swears by yoga and my cousin who is in her young 30s in an instructor.
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