The Benefits of Yoga

March 27, 2018

Looking for new hobby to indulge in? How about a stress-relieving activity to reduce anxiety and tension? Maybe a low-intensity exercise to help with losing weight and toning muscles?

Well, have you considered yoga?

Just fifteen minutes a day of this simple stretching goes a long way. Far beyond anxiety-relief and weight-loss are the benefits of yoga. Whether it be health-related or emotionally driven, yoga may be the answer to a number of problems you have been struggling with.

Quite obviously, yoga improves balance, flexibility, and strength. Similarly, continuous practice can lead to increased stamina, memory, concentration, and even sociability.

As the core of yoga is stretching, it can help to reduce risk of injury when doing any other physical activity. If you find that your body is constantly stiff and inflexible, yoga may be your much-needed cure.

Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga is designed to benefit your mind and your body equally. Routine-yoga will make you feel much more relaxed – even when you aren’t doing it. Hence, with regular practice, you will find that you are naturally a much happier person overall.

To address the claim that yoga burns fat and aids weight loss, many fail to recognize that there are several types of yoga and that each has a different purpose. Two very effective types of yoga are Bikram/Hot yoga and Vinyasa/Flow yoga. With great accuracy and precision, one can burn up to 600 calories per hour using these.

One of the best benefits of yoga is that it enhances muscle strength and tones. Without adding unwanted bulge to your muscles, it helps you to develop functional strength and to build endurance, making everyday tasks – such as lifting your backpack – much easier.

Another benefit of yoga is that it promotes slow and controlled breathing. Replacing rapid breaths with yoga-inspired breathing opens up your chest, provides relief to respiratory disorders such as asthma, and even boosts digestion.

With regular yoga, your balance is bound to improve, as many of the poses involve holding your body weight on one foot, on your hands, or even on your head! With this, the coordination between your brain and your muscles is strengthened.

Several studies have shown that yoga relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. Practicing yoga on a  regular basis can lower blood pressure, as well as supply all of your organs and muscles with the oxygen that they need.

To combine the yoga-benefits of stress-relief, blood-flow, and physical-improvement, medical professionals attest that each of these aid in fighting chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

In the end, though the practice of yoga may not appeal to everyone, it is difficult to ignore all that it has to offer. Exercise in general is important to one’s health, and whether it be yoga or something else, the addition of physical activity is vital.

Still, I encourage all to give some form of yoga a shot, as it can do much more than just fat-burning and muscle-strengthening.

The following are a list of what yoga has been proven to increase, as well as what it has been shown to decrease in active participants:

 

Yoga increases…

  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • The ability to lose weight
  • Muscle strength
  • Stamina
  • Focus/Concentration
  • Mental capacity/Memory
  • The functions of the immune system
  • Blood circulation
  • Cell Rejuvenation
  • Energy Level
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social abilities

 

Yoga decreases…

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chances of developing chronic illnesses
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Sugar
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Soreness after exercise
  • Mind blocks/ loss of train of thought

 

And so, I wish all of those who intend to try yoga a good luck – namaste!

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