The very purpose of yoga is to create awareness, harmony and strength in your mind and body. It aims to help you in focusing your body’s natural tendency towards self-healing and health. Although there are basically over 100 different types of yoga out there, essentially they all include breathing exercises, asana poses and meditation.
In most cases, yoga practice today involves assuming postures or the asana poses for stretching and flexing different muscle groups in your body. These make the yoga such a great tool that can help you stay healthy and fit, not only in body but then mind as well. But what exactly are the benefits of yoga and how can it improve your health?
Physical Benefits of Yoga
As to the different benefits of yoga, here are some of the physical advantages that yoga offers you:
Builds your muscle strength
Having strong muscles allows you to do more than just looking good. When your muscles are improved, you are protected from conditions such as back pain and arthritis. At the same time, elderly people with strong muscles can prevent themselves from falling. Building strength with yoga and combining it with flexibility allows you to have much better balance. Compared to building strength by going to gym, yoga allows you to build it together with flexibility and not to the expense of it.
Improves your flexibility
One of the benefits of yoga is improved flexibility. It is actually one of the most obvious benefits of yoga as the first time you try yoga, you probably can’t reach your toes or do a backbend. But with yoga, you will gradually find yourself loosening and being able to do impossible poses you cannot do before. At the same time, the aches and pains you felt before starts to disappear. That’s the benefit of yoga – your body has become more flexible.
Protects your spine
Do you know that the spinal disks, those shock absorbers you can find between the vertebrae that compresses the nerve need movement? That’s right. The spinal disks can only get nutrients when moved so a practice of well-balanced asana postures such as forward bends, twists and backbends can help your spinal disks become supple and your spine protected.
Improves your posture
When your head is balanced well directly over an erect spine, it doesn’t take much effort for your back muscles and neck to support it. However, when you move it just a little bit forward, your neck and back muscles become strained. When you hold up that position for 12 hours, of course you will be tired. But with yoga, you can improve your posture better as you improve your balance, strength and flexibility. That allows you to lessen the pain and risk for developing arthritis of the spine.
Increases your blood circulation
One of the amazing benefits of yoga is that it gets your blood flowing. The yoga relaxation exercises helps in your blood’s circulation particularly in your hands and feet. Through yoga, you can get more oxygen into your cells allowing them to function better. Exercises like twisting poses allows for the oxygenated blood to flow and the venous blood out of your internal organs. Yoga also boosts the red blood cells and hemoglobin that carried oxygen to body tissues. With all these, you can stay away from heart attack and strokes.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, it’s also known to help people manage stress which always has devastating effects to both body and mind. When you are stressed, it’s not only your mood and disposition that are affected. Stress can also reveal itself in such ways as problems with sleeping, neck and back pain, headaches, inability to concentrate and worse, drug abuse.
On that note, yoga can very well help you develop some skills for coping and attaining a much better outlook in life. Yoga helps so through the incorporation of breathing and exercising which are proven to improve one’s mental well-being. When you do yoga regularly, you can have mental clarity and serenity. You can become calmer while your body awareness increases.
In addition to that, yoga relieves you of chronic stress by relaxing your mind, sharpening your concentration and focusing your attention more. With yoga, you can attain self-awareness, which can be of great help in you detecting physical problems earlier and thus allows for preventive action before it becomes serious.
These are all simple but amazing benefits of yoga. But the best of all is that yoga is quite simple and does not need for a lot of things to do. Sometimes, you just need a little space for stretching and meditation, some yoga music to let you concentrate and you can be at peace on your own.