The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga…. the ancient Indian philosophy, has been around for about 5 thousand years that has since expanded and become commercialised across the world. It is an exercise that brings together complex postures, breathing, and meditation. Which embraces the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of life to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Mental well being through stilling and controlling the mind by meditation and breathing. Physical through the control of muscles throughout poses and stretching sequences.
I really enjoyed yoga during my pregnancy as I had many muscle issues that I could no longer play sports or run fairly early on. Yoga is gentle enough to enable me to exercise while injured and pregnant but challenging enough to improve my fitness and strength. This is because of yoga’s option to choose what level or how far you push your body, being beneficial for all age groups, fitness levels or flexibility, including being gentle enough for those with injuries.
There are over 28 types of yoga many of which you can find through local classes or even online. They range from hot yoga, intense to easier sequential poses, and more meditation or stretching based.
There have been many benefits associated with yoga these include:
- Improved strength, flexibility, and balance
- Relieving stress, improved mental and emotional health, improved sleep.
- Improved symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Relieving pain, joint function, inflammation, and muscle tension
- Help overall good health, improve immunity, and cognitive function
- Helps relieve symptoms of chronic disease and menopause
- Improve posture, weight loss, and self esteem
Many of the mental and cognitive benefits are due to yoga clearing the mind, taking a moment of calm, and breathing through the poses. This reduces the stress levels and enables a better thought process for decision making. The breathing slows the mind and helps reduce the stress or anxiety enabling clearer mind and thoughts.
The physical benefits are fairly obvious. If you have ever done yoga before you know that holding some of those positions need great strength and balance. The stretching of the muscles and joints helps with the elevate of pain by removing the tension. The exercise increases the heart rate and circulation meaning the blood flow is increased to the body and mind, causing healthier muscles and improved cognitive function.
With such a wide variety of benefits and options to chose from there is no excuse not to give yoga a try.