Yoga is an ancient practice of exercise and spirituality. Yoga is not a new concept. Yoga had been introduced into the heart of the continent during ancient times. Yoga is originally a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India by the rishis. There have been many forms of exercise and training which came into view in the recent years but yoga is one that has stood the test of time, mentions of Yoga having been found for more than 5,000 years. Yoga comes from the word “yog” in Hindi, which means “to join”’. Yoga helps to connect your body and mind together and is built on three main elements – exercise, breathing and meditation.
The benefits of yoga don’t stop at burning calories, losing tummy fat or toning muscles. Yoga is an extensive body-mind workout. Benefits of yoga go deeper than just fitting into an old pair of jeans. It forms a deeper connection between the mind and body. Yoga helps to enrich your soul and gives the mind and the body ultimate purpose. While you may be thinking of all the reasons why yoga isn’t for you, we present to you everything that yoga is important for you.
Here are 7 evidence-based health benefits of yoga :
- Improves Flexibility
Yoga plays a very prominent role in improving the flexibility of the body. It helps to slowly loosen up the tight muscles and let them relax. The goals of flexibility related to yoga can be set according to the personal comfort level of an individual. Even if your personal goal is to touch your toes, reduce the tightness in your hamstrings, or to simply feel less stiff, the stretches and poses performed during yoga will be the perfect source of help for you. Once you’ve developed greater strength and flexibility in your muscles, it will consequently reduce any risk of injury and will allow greater movement in your body to help you break your personal records, move forward and get better with it.
- Improves Posture
Good posture is an asset to humankind. In today’s generation, bad postures lead to plenty of health hazards to people. Most people suffer from severe back pain and some also develop spondylitis due to bad sitting and lying postures. It has been seen that yoga poses help improve bad posture and help the spine to be healthy. A healthier spinal cord will improve the functionality of the pathways of the nervous system and make them strong and clear so that vital energy can flow more freely throughout. Working on correcting your postural imbalances will also help to prevent and relieve chronic back pain.
- Improves Strength
Strength building doesn’t just refer to strengthening the muscles. Strengthening the body and the mind, improving immunity and building focus and concentration are just some of the ways in which you can improve strength through yoga. Strength building through yoga is probably not something that immediately comes to mind, trying out the downward dog pose will make you realise how much strength yoga requires. There are huge benefits of building strength through yoga. It builds a balance to your body with flexibility, compared to just lifting weights at the gym.
- Better Sleep Quality
Sleep is an extremely essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Proper sleep can lead to better health conditions, reduced stress and reduced risks of development of nerve-related problems. It has been found that incorporating yoga into your routine can help promote better sleep. Yoga is the ultimate relaxing mechanism that can help you relax and unwind, helping you to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and feel more rested when you wake up. It has also been seen that yoga helps in increasing the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
- Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety arise from the daily struggles and stress of life. With evolved technologies, there has been an increase in stress and anxiety among common people as the pace of life has considerably increased. Stress and anxiety can lead to extreme physical discomfort in people and paves way for serious health issues. It is well known that regular exercise has a positive side to it and can positively affect your mental health by reducing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. It has been found that yoga acts as a self-soothing technique, and can help to manage stress response systems by reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration. It has also been found that yoga helps to considerably decrease the secretion of cortisol, which is a primary stress hormone. Reduced levels of cortisol will induce a calming effect in your mind and body, thus reducing anxiety.
- Improves Concentration
Concentration is defined as a technique to train the mind to be able to focus at one place for a considerably long period of time. Practising yoga requires physical concentration as you have to learn to bring your focus to your breath as well as move through a sequence of poses. This practice in turn helps to bring awareness to the state of one’s own body and mind and can be a useful tool that can be used to increase one’s concentration in their day-to-day activities.
- Improves Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system refers to the organ system consisting of the heart and blood vessels. The cardiovascular system helps in carrying blood and oxygen to different organs, tissues and cells of the body. The different poses in yoga along with a varied range of breathing exercises helps to strengthen the heart. It ensures a proper supply of oxygenated blood to the tissues, which helps to keep them healthy and strong. Stronger cardiovascular system will boost your immunity and help you fight diseases in the long run.
In conclusion, we can say that the health benefits of yoga are tremendous. If you’re stopping yourself from trying it just because you think you’re not flexible or fit enough, that’s even more reason why you should immediately try out yoga. We have already been amidst a pandemic for the past year or so, the only way to kickstart into a healthier, happier 2021 is by incorporating a healthier lifestyle and incorporating yoga into your daily schedule.
Try it, you won’t get a chance to regret.