Did you know that yoga is perfect for your mental and physical health?
It seems like the majority of people believe that yoga is all about stretching and relaxing your body, but it’s actually way more than that. It includes a lot of moves that are meant to strengthen and lengthen your muscles, and it also includes a lot of breathing exercises and meditation.
Whether you are a pro at working out or you just want to start being more active, yoga is great for your body. You’ll relax, strengthen your body, and energize or wind down after a long day – depending on the intensity of your session or on the time of the day you practice – you’ll protect and make your joints stronger, and so many other benefits.
There are many variations and yoga types, as well as modifications, so you shouldn’t be afraid to try it! And no, you don’t need to be as flexible as a cat to start your own yoga journey.
Have you ever tried yoga? If not, here are 10 reasons why you should immediately give it a go! Roll down your mat, and let’s flow!
1. Stress relief
According to The American Psychological Association, roughly 84% of American adults stated that they feel the impact of too much stress in their lives. Even a short session of yoga practice is great for stress relief, especially if you decide to do asana.
There are plenty of amazing trainers with tons of guided practices on YouTube or on fitness apps if you don’t have access to live a yoga class. The majority of them include a combination of self-disciplinary and contemplative practices, such as breath work, chanting, meditation, auditory rituals, prayer, or mantra, which are known for promoting relaxation and calmness.
2. Reduces inflammation
It’s not very hard to notice the sign of inflammation in your body. If you catch a cold, for instance, you’ll have a runny nose, a fever, and a migraine. This is a great example of how you can see your body getting inflamed and fighting infection.
However, chronic inflammation is different, and it’s harder to deal with it. This usually happens when your immune system is out of control, and it can lead to major health issues, including arthritis, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes.
You can ease the symptoms of inflammation and make yourself feel better by constantly practicing yoga, even if it’s for only 10 minutes. Several studies have discovered that regular yoga practices in different durations, intensities, and styles are linked to minimizing the number of biochemical markers of inflammation across severe health problems.
3. Improves flexibility
It’s very important for your body to be both strong and flexible, and yoga is a great ally for both of them! There are many intensities and styles you can choose from, whether you want something more relaxing or something that will raise your heart rate.
When you get older, your body starts to lose its flexibility, making you feel more stiff and tired. It seems like yoga is helpful for improving flexibility, especially for adults who are over the age of 65.
It doesn’t matter if you choose asana or yoga sculpt (a type of yoga that uses light weights and incorporates more strength training moves), because all of them are linked to increased flexibility and blood flow throughout the body.
4. Improves mental health
Researchers believe that major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most usual mental health disorders in the world. They found that yoga-based treatments, which include both movement and breathing-based practices, are efficient in improving the MDD symptoms.
…If you ever feel stressed out and anxious and you have no idea what to do to make yourself feel better, you can try a short yoga session that will calm your body and your mind at the same time.
5. Improves physical strength
While the majority of people associate yoga with stretching and flexibility-building exercises, some types of yoga classes are also great for building strength in your body. This depends on the level that you’re at and the instructor’s approach.
Asana and yoga sculpting are incredible for building strength in both your upper and lower body, due to the fact that it includes light weights and compound exercises, such as push-ups, lunges, squats, and crunches variations.
Researchers found that yoga is also great for building strength in children, people diagnosed with health conditions such as breast cancer, and even older adults.
…Did you know that yoga can make both your body and your mind stronger?
6. Boosts immunity
One of the main factors that affect your immune system is chronic stress. When your immune system is out of control, you are more likely to catch a cold or a more severe illness. As we’ve previously mentioned, yoga works great as an alternative form of treatment for stress.
Researchers are still looking for more details regarding this topic, in order to be sure about the effects yoga has on immunity, but they found that people who constantly practiced yoga over the long term have stronger immune systems, compared to those who didn’t try yoga at all. This happens due to the fact that this type of workout has the ability to fight inflammation, making your body keep bacteria at bay!
7. Improves balance
You don’t just need balance in your yoga class when the instructor asks you to stand on one leg in a tree pose. It’s an essential thing in your day-to-day life, in all the movements you do, such as walking up and down the stairs, standing up, picking something up off the floor, or reaching up to take something off a shelf.
Many professional athletes stated that constant sessions of yoga have helped them improve their performance. Older adults who don’t take good care of their health can fall and develop severe injuries. In addition to that, falling is also a risk factor that can lead to death.
If you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to move your body very much, you can stick to adaptive or chair yoga. Both of these are very helpful and suitable for people who suffer from injuries or for those who are less mobile.
8. Improves sleep
Up to 70 million American citizens say that they suffer from insomnia every year. This affects their capacity to fall and stay asleep. Healthy eating and working out are two well-known natural remedies people can try to balance their sleeping schedule, but these two are not enough.
Moreover, researchers found that yoga is another tool that can help people improve their sleeping cycles, helping them to fall asleep faster and to stay asleep longer. This is mainly because exercise interferes with the chemicals in our brains, helping us feel more relaxed and ready for the resting period.
…If you have trouble falling asleep, there are many wind-down yoga videos on YouTube you can try!
9. Improves cardiovascular functioning
As we’ve already stated in this article, “yogic breathing”, also known as pranayama, is a significant and meaningful aspect of yoga. Several studies have discovered that yogic breathing can improve the way some of the organs in our bodies function.
There are many organs that benefit from controlled breathing, such as the cardiovascular system, which can further notice changes in stroke capacity, contractility of the heart, arterial pressure, and heart rate.
In addition to that, pranayama is believed to have a positive influence on the brain’s cardiorespiratory center, improving its functioning.
10. Improves bone health and density
There are many poses in yoga that contain isometric contractions, which means that the length of the muscles that are engaged in the pose don’t change, even though they are fully working.
During the plank pose, for instance, your body stays in an upper pushup position, which means that your core, your quads, your buttocks, and your arms are fully engaged, but your muscles don’t shorten or lengthen as they would if you were doing a complete pushup.
When you hold a position in Warrior II, for example, and you stay with the lead leg bowed at the hip and knee, this is a type of isometric exercise. These types of workouts have been shown to promote bone density, especially when performed with the joints in flexion.
Asana is a type of yoga that is known for improving bone loss linked to osteoporosis and osteopenia. A few studies have discovered that only 12 minutes of yoga per day can do wonders for your body and it will help improve your bone health.
…Have you ever tried yoga? Tell us in the comments down below!
…If you liked reading this article and you want to know more about health, wellness, and lifestyle changes, make sure to check this article out as well: Here Are 11 Facts About Digestive Enzymes You’d Never Guess!