Yoga is a 5,000 year old practise originally developed in Northern India. A combination of mental, physical and spiritual disciplines which are now practised worldwide. There are many benefits of yoga, it’s a great way to relax. It’s good exercise which is low impact on your joints and muscles and it has many other health benefits too. If you’re looking for a gentle, effective exercise to help improve your health, yoga could be perfect for you!
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Techniques used within yoga practise can help to reduce severe back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and even arthritis. It can also help to reduce blood pressure and enable better sleeping patterns for insomnia sufferers. This is a huge benefit of yoga especially for people who suffer with ongoing aches and pains.
As well as aiding physical aches and pains another benefit of yoga is it helps you build up your flexibility. Gone are the days of running round as kids, bending every which way and not a stiff joint in sight! Yoga is a gentle exercise and your yoga teacher will encourage you to push yourself as hard as you need to. But, it’s not a competition with anyone else in the room. So focus on what works best for you and what you need from your practise. Over time stretching and regularly moving your joints and muscles during practise will help ease up tightness and increase flexibility.
One benefit of yoga is it’s a great way of building muscle strength and toning your body. Yoga is a great class to take alongside cardiovascular activities, especially if you’re on a serious fitness kick. It’s a great alternative to lifting weights in the gym and can help to build strength and tone without really noticing!
Yoga practise puts a lot of emphasis on breathing and most classes will start and end focusing on breathing deeply. Therefore yoga is great for improving your respiration and teaching you to reserve energy and vitality.
Whilst yoga is a great way to relax, it is still exercise and don’t be surprised if you start sweating! Regular yoga practise can help reduce weight gain and improve your cardio and circulatory health. As well as keeping you fit yoga also helps to maintain a balanced metabolism, a key factor in any healthy diet.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a fantastic tool for busting stress. When we become stressed we’re often very tense, this can lead to aches and pains, headaches and even lack of sleep. Another benefit of your yoga practise is that it’s an amazing opportunity to let go of all that stress, in turn relieving you from physical pain and generally leaving you feeling relaxed.
Many of us lead busy day to day lives and it can be super hard to switch off. Whether it’s overthinking your work day when you should be spending time with your family. Or your mind running overtime as soon as your head hits the pillow. Within your practise your yoga teacher will encourage you to have a clear mind. This will help you to let go of any stressful or tense thoughts which may be interfering with your practise. This is where focusing on your breathing really helps.
Yoga also helps to move you from the sympathetic nervous system, which is our ‘fight or flight’ mode to parasympathetic, our ‘rest and digest’ mode. Typically anxiety is much lower and your general state is more relaxed. The deep breathing technique implemented at the start of your practise will help you slow down and move into a calmer state of mind.
Ready To Give Yoga A Go?
As you can see there are ample benefits of yoga. It’s a great way to socialise and meet new people, it’s relaxing and allows you to switch off and it’s a great way to exercise without going overboard! Let us know your favourite thing about yoga in the comments below or if you try it out for the first time after reading our post, let us know!
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