1.a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
I have heard a lot about yoga but never thought that I would try it for one reason or another. In the past month or so I have been doing yoga every single morning when I wake up and now I understand why everyone talks about it. Due to only being a beginner myself, I have just practiced the basic poses and meditation so far and I am so excited to open myself up to different types of yoga and different poses. I feel more flexible and more mental clarity every single day and I will continue to practice and get better!
Why is yoga good for your health?
- I did gymnastics when I was younger and had more than average but not extreme flexibility. As I grew older I realized that my body became stiff and things that shouldn’t have been hard felt like my muscles we’re going to tear in half! This is one of my two favorite things about yoga! Tight muscles can lead to bones flattening and many other non-reversible health conditions, as well. Every single morning, I start my day by breathing and stretching sore muscles and there no better way to wake up!
- For only being 23, you wouldn’t believe the back pain I am constantly in. I never seem to get a break, it’s the first thing I feel when I wake up and the last thing I feel before falling asleep. Not to mention all of the times it wake me up throughout the night. Working in an office, I have to sit down a lot of my day so all I can do during the work day to help my back is to sit with good posture. And that bring us to #3!
Helps perfect posture
- Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine. Working on my posture has helped my back pain during work!
Eases your pain
- Yoga can ease your pain. According to several studies, asana, meditation, or a combination of the two, reduced pain in people with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions. When you relieve your pain, your mood improves, you’re more inclined to be active, and you don’t need as much medication.
Helps you sleep deeper
- Stimulation is good, but too much of it taxes the nervous system. Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Restorative asana, yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, a turning inward of the senses, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another by-product of a regular yoga practice, studies suggest, is better sleep—which means you’ll be less tired and less stressed.
Makes you happier
- Feeling sad? Sit in Lotus. Better yet, rise up into a backbend or soar royally into King Dancer Pose. While it’s not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol. At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., found that the left prefrontal cortex showed heightened activity in meditators, a finding that has been correlated with greater levels of happiness and better immune function. More dramatic left-sided activation was found in dedicated, long-term practitioners.
Helps you focus
- An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the ability to solve problems and acquire and recall information better—probably because they’re less distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like an endless tape loop.
Releases tension in your limbs
- Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? I personally do this all day, every day. These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them. Remember that practice makes perfect.
Can use the placebo effect, to affect mental change
- Just believing you will get better can make you better. Unfortunately, many conventional scientists believe that if something works by eliciting the placebo effect, it doesn’t count. But most patients just want to get better, so if chanting a mantra—like you might do at the beginning or end of yoga class or throughout a meditation or in the course of your day—facilitates healing, even if it’s just a placebo effect, why not do it?
- The power is within yourself at all times.
- Other benefits!
- Prevents cartilage breakdown
- Prevents joint breakdown
- Protects your spine
- Betters bone health
- Increases your blood flow
- Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
- Ups your heart rate
- Drops your blood pressure
- Regulates your adrenal glands
- Improves your balance
- Maintains your nervous system
- Gives your lungs room to breathe
- Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
- Increases your self-esteem
- Encourages self care
For me personally, I do yoga alone in the comfort of my own home. I watch YouTube videos and utilize different yoga apps for direction. Find what works best for your body and mind and just try it! Always remember, practice makes perfect!
Have you tried yoga? Thought about trying it? Could it benefit you? Let me know what you think!
Leave a comment below!