Take a moment to breathe...take a moment to rest...take a moment to bring yourself back to the here and now.
Starting and maintaining a yoga practice is a wonderful way to keep the mind in shape as well as the body.
Maybe you’re beginner, or maybe you’ve never even heard of yoga. Whatever your experience, here are 10 ways yoga can improve health and well being.
Health Benefit #1: Improves Your Flexibility
Inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue can cause problems with the spine, knee joints, hip joints, posture, and various other parts of the body. Tight muscles can affect your alignment leading to various physical problems. Improving your flexibility can help you to create better posture and cure, as well as, prevent fewer aches and pains. If you’re new to yoga, you may not be able to do a backbend or even touch your toes at first, but in time you will find that your flexibility will increase. If you commit to it, you will find that seemingly impossible poses will become possible!
Health Benefit #2: Builds Muscle Strength
There’s no doubt that strong muscles look good, but what’s even better is that they protect us from injury. They also help to prevent conditions like chronic back pain and arthritis. With yoga, you balance flexibility and strength building. Sometimes in rigid workout routines, you sacrifice flexibility for strength. Yoga gives you the best of both worlds.
Health Benefit #3: Perfects Your Posture
Poor posture can cause a multitude of problems. It can affect your back, neck, joints, and other muscles. Improper posture can cause changes to normal curves of your neck and back. This can cause pain, and, sometimes, degenerative arthritis of the spine.
Health Benefit #4: Increases Bone Health
It has been proven that weight-bearing types of exercises will strengthen bones. In addition, it also helps keep osteoporosis at bay. Many yoga poses are weight-bearing in nature. Also, yoga has been shown to lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) which may help keep calcium in the bones.
Health Benefit #5: Increases Blood Flow
Yoga gets more oxygen to the cells which will definitely work better as a result. It can increase levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells which transport oxygen to the tissues. Inverted poses are especially helpful because they use gravity help to stimulate circulation.
Health Benefit #6: Boosts Immunity
The movements of the body while practicing yoga help to increase the drainage of lymph (a fluid rich with immune cells). This promotes a stronger lymphatic system. A stronger lymphatic system means a stronger ability to fight infections, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of waste products of cellular functioning.
Health Benefit #7: Regulates Adrenal Glands
As mentioned earlier, yoga can decrease cortisol levels. The adrenals glands are what secrete cortisol. Cortisol is typically released in response to an during stressful event, and this will momentarily boost the immune system. Sometimes your cortisol may stay in the higher range even after the crisis has passed. This will then have the opposite effect and decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. High cortisol levels have been connected to depression, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis.
Health Benefit #8: Promotes Relaxation
Yoga lowers breathing rates, heart rates, increases blood flow, and decreases blood pressure. It increases mindfulness which promotes relaxation by encouraging you to slow your breath and focus on the present.
Health Benefit #9: Peace of Mind
Stress is the culprit of so many health problems such as high blood pressure, insomnia, heart attacks, migraines, and so much more. Yoga helps the mind slow down. When the mind slows down it eases the anger, fear, and frustration that can cause stress. Reduction in stress can help you live longer, healthier, and more peacefully.
Health Benefit #10: Enhances Inner Strength
The discipline that develops from regular yoga practice can be used to change other things in your life. Want to be healthier, eat better, quit bad habits? Committing to a consistent yoga practice may enable you to make more positive changes in your life that you had trouble accomplishing before.