Updated: Nov 7, 2022
Yoga is a traditional form of exercise that originated in India about 5,000 years ago and is regarded as a holistic approach to health in the Western world. The main components of yoga are postures and breathing. There are many different types of yoga, from Bikram Yoga to Yin Yoga, but the goal is mainly to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body.
Some styles are more vigorous than others, while some may have a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Many yoga teachers have their own practice incorporating more than one type of the practice. The reason so many people are falling in love with yoga is because they are discovering how wonderful it is for their mind, body and spirit. There are so many reasons to add yoga in your daily routine. Let’s look at the benefits in greater depth.
1.Yoga improves strength and balance
Adults start to lose muscle mass around age 40, with the process accelerating at around age 50. Yoga increases muscle endurance because you challenge your muscles to support your body weight as you transition into different positions.
Not only vinyasa or ashtanga yoga build body strength, even less vigorous styles of yoga, such as Iyengar or hatha, can provide strength and endurance benefits. But apart from stamina, yoga is beneficial since it practices balance. Practicing yoga prepositions helps you get to know your body and connects you with your center of balance as well.
2. Yoga increases your flexibility
Flexibility is an important component of physical health. Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which may make performing your daily activities easier. Physical flexibility is an important component of your overall health. Reduced flexibility is a natural part of aging. Yoga slows the rate of the loss and improves the flexibility in senior adults.
There are many different intensities of yoga, from high to moderate to mild. Regardless of the level of intensity, yoga is known to increase flexibility and strength. This can be particularly helpful for those with physical injury, as it may help with mobility and function. As you build strength, you can add in more advanced yoga positions. Yoga poses such as tree pose or garudasana get to the root of your posture and balance issues.
3. Yoga helps with back pain relief
For people with lower back pain stretching is very important. Yoga emphasizes stretching, strength and flexibility to relieve back soreness and improve mobility in people with lower back pain. In addition, stretching with yoga increases blood flow, allowing nutrients to flow in, toxins to flow out, and overall nourishment of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back.
Yoga's focus on mobility and flexibility can help people stay more flexible and healthy by releasing tight muscles and improving spinal mobility. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic low back pain.
4. Yoga reduces insomnia
Yoga offers a multitude of health and wellness benefits, but one of the most well-known and immediate is how it improves sleep. Yoga practice has been shown to help people fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. The benefits of yoga are partly due to the aftereffects of exercise and also the mental calmness and stress relief it provides. Yoga Nidra, specifically, has been shown to be particularly helpful at improving sleep, since practicing calming poses may help you to relax and enter a lower state of arousal.
5. Yoga lowers blood pressure and reduces stress
Yoga is the answer to reducing stress and heart disease. Yoga has proven to reduce stress, which is a major contributor to heart disease. High blood pressure and weight are two other factors that can be successfully addressed by yoga. Yoga lowers cortisol levels; a slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure or heart disease, and people who've had a stroke. Yoga is also an effective practice for your heart because it increases circulation and blood flow.
Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. After yoga classes, when practicing poses such as the corpse pose, you should feel calm and refreshed. Meditation, breath work have all also been shown to significantly lessen tension and relieve stress. Pranayama, often referred to as “yogic breathing,” is an important and beneficial aspect of yoga.
6. Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods
Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being.
In addition, yoga can boost your mood and give you a positive outlook. It can also increase your physical and mental energy, as well as reduce your feelings of negativity after getting into a routine of practicing yoga.
7. Yoga improves mental health
Yoga has a powerful combination of the physical movement combined with deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness. The modern world is full of distractions and the hectic pace can easily put people in an anxious state. Yoga has shown to be a great way to relieve that anxiety, balancing the nervous system and bringing peace back into one's life. There are also evidence-based studies that show that yoga can boost focus and memory, because it requires you to focus during the practice. This clearing of noise in your mind clears space for better memory.
8. Yoga may improve bone health
Many postures in yoga are isometric contractions, meaning that the length of the muscles holding the pose doesn’t change, though they are fully engaged. Isometric exercises have been found to increase bone density. Bone problems become more prominent in older age, so it is crucial to take measures and avoid any complications later. Yoga asana may reverse the bone loss associated with osteopenia and osteoporosis. This makes yoga a promising practice for preventing and helping treat osteoporosis.
9. Yoga can improve brain functioning
As a modern society reliant on technology, we're spending more and more time sitting down with devices in the palm of our hand. Yoga stimulates parts of the brain that are integral to focus, motivation, and problem solving. Studies have proven that people who practice yoga are not only more resilient in their minds, but also in their bodies.
10. Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms
When living with osteoarthritis, it is important to keep moving and breathing to maintain flexibility, reduce pain and improve overall quality of life. Gentle yoga has been shown to ease some of the discomfort of tender, swollen joints for people with arthritis. People with arthritis may also enjoy yoga more than traditional forms of exercise.
The bottom line
Overall, the benefits of yoga extend well beyond building stamina and weight loss. If practiced properly, yoga can recharge your body, get rid of the toxins, boost your immune system and keep your vital organs functioning well. Yoga offers a plethora of physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and can even accelerate healing if you are ill or recovering from surgery. So what are you waiting for? Start practicing yoga today and reap the benefits of this practice. Join us at one of our yoga retreats in Greece to mindfully unplug and reconnect with yourself.