Many of us are aware of yoga, we have seen people in the park or online laying out their mats and performing poses we may only dream of achieving. A lot of us may dismiss yoga as just some weird and difficult form of stretching but it is so much more. You may think that yoga will be too difficult for you, but it does not have to be. No one expects you to turn into a contortionist to do yoga, you do not even have to perfectly achieve each pose. Over time it will become easier, and you will find yourself able to do more and more. So here are some positive health benefits you can get from starting yoga.
- Yoga is often associated with meditation, a way to relax your mind and throw away your worries or to calmly embrace your thoughts and think things over one step at a time. You connect with yourself and work on your inner peace, this can help relieve a lot of stress. There are a lot of things that can cause us stress in our day to day lives, and a lot of the time it festers because we do not have time to calmly think it through and work it out. Yoga is a great way to set aside time to work through these stressors while also slowing us down in our fast-paced world.
Flexibility and Mobility
- Yoga helps to stretch the body, relax but also engage our joints and muscles. Over time this allows your body to move further and further, increasing our flexibility and range of mobility. It is like how you can gradually train yourself to do the splits by stretching your legs just a little everyday until you can reach the floor, but it is for your whole body. As we get older, we lose mobility and flexibility, yoga can keep you moving a lot longer and a lot easier as you age.
- Stretching before bed is always a great way to get better sleep since it relaxes the body, kind of like a nice hot bath. Yoga allows your body and mind to relax which allows your brain to calm down at night making it easier to drift to sleep. A little yoga before bed can go a long way towards a good night’s sleep, especially for those of us who hold tension in our bodies and have a hard time shutting off our minds at night. Since we have already released the tension and had a chance to quiet our minds, our brains can focus on counting sheep.
Increased Mental Health
- Chronic stress can lead to a lot of negative health effects, both physical and mental. Reducing stress can help alleviate some anxiety and stretching the body to get it moving can help a depressed individual feel less stagnant. By giving yourself a chance to mindfully approach things in a peaceful environment, you can get a better understanding of them and yourself. You can even keep a journal nearby to jot down what you have worked through to help you through things, and you can even use it as a talking guide in therapy for things you would like outside opinions on.
Increased Fitness and Strength
- Yoga may not be your typical idea of exercise but that does not mean that it is not. A lot of yoga poses put the muscles to work, which in turn strengthens them. Different poses engage different muscle groups so you can get a full body workout. Yoga also does not overexert your muscles since it engages them but usually does not have them fully taught and straining. Over time you should notice your body strengthening as the poses get easier. Planks can help build arm and core strength, warrior poses can help with legs and core, and there are plenty of other poses to work other parts of your body such as your back.
- Since yoga involves a lot of stretching you may notice some pain relief. If you have shoulder, neck, or back pain, yoga can help stretch out those muscles and relieve tension that may be causing your pain. Yoga also stretches out joints so you may experience reduced joint pain. While yoga may help with chronic pain, it will not eliminate chronic pain but can be a useful supplement to your standard treatment.