Looking for reasons to try out yoga?
From increased strength to added flexibility to better heart health, there’s no shortage of reasons to roll out the mat and get started with a daily yoga habit! The benefits extend far beyond the physical though, and yoga has time and again proved to be great for stress relief, reduced depression and for forming better bonds with your loved ones and yourself.
In short, nothing beats yoga when it comes to uniting the body, mind, and spirit and helping you lead a calmer, happier and more fulfilling life! There are plenty of different types of yoga out there, all of which achieve the same purpose, albeit in different ways. Here’s a guide on the different Types Of Yoga out there!
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
1. Increased Flexibility and Better Posture
the first and foremost benefit you get to experience from a daily yoga practice is added flexibility. When you first start out, it might seem impossible to touch your toes or do a backbend. However, a few weeks in, you’ll notice a gradual loosening and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become a lot easier. Your aches and pains will begin to disappear. No more back pain!
When you’re sitting hunched over at your workplace for 8 to 12 hours every day, you start to strain your back and neck muscles. This will lead to fatigue and chronic neck and back pain. However, that’s not the worst of it! Over time, as you slump, it may lead to degenerative arthritis of the spine.
2. Improved Muscle Strength
Yoga relies on your own body as the “weight” and targets smaller stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked in traditional weight training. Yoga aids in developing functional strength that assists us in everyday activities like bending over, lifting, walking, sitting down and standing up.
Strong muscles protect us from conditions like age-related diseases like arthritis and back pain and prevent falls when you get older. Also, when you gain this strength in your muscles through daily yoga, you get to balance it out with flexibility as well!
3. Better Blood Flow
The relaxation exercises you learn in Yoga are extremely beneficial for your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga gets more oxygen to your cells, which work better as a result. It encourages venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.
It also cuts down on the level of clot-promoting proteins in your blood. This protects you against killers like heart attacks and strokes as blood clots are often, the cause of these killers.
4. Prevents Cartilage And joint Breakdown
Every time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their whole range of motions. This helps prevent degeneration and mitigates disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used. Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing your underlying cartilage!
5. Helps With Weight Loss
When you get your heart into the aerobic range, you start to lose weight! Not all of yoga is aerobic though. But if you do it vigorously or take Ashtanga Yoga classes, it can boost your heart into the aerobic range! However, even yoga asanas that aren’t that intense will also improve your cardiovascular functioning! Regular Yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning.
Check out our post on the Best Yoga Poses For Weight Loss
The Mental Benefits Of Yoga
6. Makes You Happier
Feeling sad? Sit in lotus. Constant yoga practice has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and regulates the functioning of your adrenal glands. Adrenal glands control your fight and flight responses and elevated levels of stress lead to the adrenal gland always being active, which leads to major depression, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. Basically, it makes you feel on edge all the time. Yoga helps combat all of that!
Yoga really does make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Check out photos from our Yoga Carnival Event.
7. Helps You Focus
A very important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory levels, 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 inattentive and not likely to be distracted by their thoughts, which can play over and over like a broken record.
8. Relaxes Your System
Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath and live in the present, free from your worries of the future and the regrets of the past. This aspect makes it very calm and restorative. Yoga also helps relax your nervous system, releasing tension in your limbs. Yoga can definitely provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The increased blood flow also leads to greater immunity and you might find yourself getting fewer colds, etc.
9. Helps You Sleep Deeper
Restorative asanas like Savasana, Pranayama, and meditation encourage you to tune into your inner spirit, which provides downtime for the nervous system. Another byproduct of a regular yoga practice is better and deeper sleep. Your lungs have more room to breathe, your back doesn’t hurt when you lay down, you’re not stressing out about the day, all of which leads to more fulfilling sleep.
10. Encourages Self Care and Founds A Healthier Lifestyle
Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. The good habits you develop through yoga can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without making a particular effort to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts.
So there you have it. That’s our list of the mental and physical health benefits of Yoga. If you want to live a healthier life where you’re more attuned to your feelings, nature and the people around you, there really is no substitute for Yoga. Here’s a list of the Best Yoga Classes In Pune to get you started off!