Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga
By now, you have probably heard that yoga is good for you. You may have even tried it and found out that it makes you feel better. All sorts of mental and physical health advantages are offered by consistent practice. Some, like improved versatility, are obviously obvious.
Others may be more subtle, including mental clarity and reduction of stress, but are just as powerful. All the advantages below, when put together, lead to an increased feeling of well-being, which helps to explain why so many people find yoga so addictive.
Moving and stretching in new ways, bringing a greater range of motion to tight areas, will help you become more flexible. Over time, you can expect your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips to gain flexibility. Our flexibility normally decreases as we age, particularly if we spend a lot of time sitting, leading to pain and immobility. Yoga can help to reverse this mechanism.
Many yoga poses require you to bear your body weight in new ways, including balancing or supporting yourself with your arms on one leg (as in tree pose) (as in downward facing dog ). Holding these poses helps build muscular strength over the course of several breaths.
Increases Muscle Tone
You can expect to see increased muscle tone as a byproduct of getting stronger. Yoga helps your legs, arms, back, and abdomen to shape long, lean muscles.
One of yoga’s most significant advantages, as you get older, is improved balance. Positions, where you are on one leg and reversals, are great ways to build the core strength that keeps you upright for more advanced students.
Supports Joint Health
Low impact is the movements necessary for yoga, allowing you to use your joints without injuring them. Yoga also enables the muscles around the joints to strengthen, reducing their load. With regular gentle yoga practice, people with arthritis often see a marked improvement in their pain and mobility.
Prevents Back Pain
The causes of some types of back pain may be prevented by increased flexibility and strength. Many people who have back pain spend a lot of time sitting on a computer or driving a car, causing tightness and spinal compression throughout the body. These conditions are counteracted by yoga.
Teaches Better Breathing
Most of us take shallow breaths and don’t think much about how we’re breathing. Called pranayama, yoga breathing exercises focus our attention on breathing and teach us how to take deeper breaths that benefit the whole body. Some types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the nervous system, which has physical and mental benefits on and off the mat (helpful for people with allergies).
To relieve stress, physical activity is good, and this is especially true of yoga. Your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are on the mat due to the concentration required. This offers a much-needed break from your stressors and helps put your issues into perspective.
As you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future, the emphasis yoga places on being in the present moment can also help. You’re going to leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you began.
Increases Self Confidence
Doing yoga enhances your connection between mind and body, giving you a better awareness of your own body. You learn to make small, subtle movements during yoga to enhance your alignment, placing you in better contact with your physical being. Without judgment, you also learn to accept your body as it is. This leads to feeling more comfortable in your own body over time, boosting your confidence in yourself.
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