The Incredible Health Benefits of Yoga
Spring has finally arrived and, after months of being wrapped up in a blanket on the couch burning through Netflix series at an alarming rate, it’s time to get back into that amazing workout routine you followed so many months ago. Since you’re just coming out of hibernation, you need to gradually build your body back up to pre-winter condition. Why not start with yoga?
The easy to pick up and adaptable practice of yoga has taken off in popularity over the past several years, and for good reason. People who practice yoga quickly feel both the mental and physical benefits. Everyone from professional athletes to senior citizens can attain the benefits and the enjoyment of yoga thanks to its ability to adjust the intensity of poses based on experience and desired outcome.
Below are seven great health benefits from a regular yoga routine, which actually build upon each other:
Better Flexibility: Over time, regular yoga can greatly increase your body’s flexibility while also helping to relieve those nagging aches, pains, cramps, and tight muscles that come with aging.
Muscle Building: Yoga uses many muscles that normally go untouched during normal routines. The combination of increased flexibility while building muscle keeps your body balanced, helping prevent arthritis, falls in elderly people, and muscle pulls.
Posture/Spine: Your spine needs nutrients, just as the rest of your body does, and these nutrients come from movement. Yoga’s many bends and twists, as well as back and core muscle focuses, keep your spine healthy and balanced, improving your posture.
Circulatory/Cardiovascular: The various poses yoga incorporates increase your blood flow, and allow oxygen-poor blood to flow back to your heart and lungs to be oxygenated. This helps increase circulation in your hands and feet, ease leg swelling, help varicose veins, and even lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Immunity: Yoga regulates your adrenal glands and drains your lymph, both of which can have a big effect on your mental and physical health. This helps to fight infection, can destroy cancer cells, dispose of toxic waste, increase long-term memory, and help with depression. Additionally, the meditative elements of yoga have shown to boost immunity in many studies.
Mental Health: One of the most important components of yoga is focusing on the present. Studies have shown regular yoga increases focus, memory, IQ scores, and reaction time. It might even make you happier as yoga leads to significant increases in serotonin levels.
Sleep Better: Yoga involves varying degrees of stimulation and going between low stimulation to high stimulation, and then back down to low. However, all stimulation is done in controlled intervals and many people lack the ability to do so. Yoga provides a deeper understanding and control of your body. It teaches guided relaxation techniques providing downtime for your nervous system and possibly leads to better sleep.
These are just a few of the many benefits of yoga. The goal of yoga is to be centered and focus on your inner self. With practice, moving from one pose to another can feel like you are simply on a flowing river of health and relaxation.