Of course, you already knew that yoga is good for your body—but did you know all the ways it can help you stay healthy? It is more than just a stretching activity, and more than a strength-building exercise. Yoga offers benefits for your entire body as well as your mind—things that we all need to spend some time focusing energy on improving. So, if you haven’t already gotten into yoga, consider these additional reasons to get started!
Few of us get a chance to really center ourselves and focus on what our own bodies are trying to say. Practicing yoga gives you the opportunity to set things that are bothering you aside for an hour and focus on yourself and your well-being. If you can think only about the poses and the ultimate goals of your practice, you can take a break from your regular stressors and relax your mind fully. Few things offer this respite! And perhaps, when you finish your practice and come back to your daily activities and demands, you will see a solution to a problem you couldn’t grasp before!
Management of Chronic Health Conditions
The focus and pace of yoga can dramatically affect conditions like depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia. Through its powers of stress relief, you can get away from things that are really bothering you and hopefully put them into perspective. It is this very lack of perspective that can make things seem out of your control or overwhelming, and yoga provides an escape that is part of the transformation process. Additionally, most yogis will tell you that they feel happier and more content after a class, most likely a result of boosted oxygen levels in the brain after practice. Yoga, like most exercises, can help with sleep problems as it can push you into a place of tiredness that life without exercise can’t really reach. However, the added benefit of yoga’s relaxation powers will make your sleep deeper than ever before.
Yoga has long had a positive effect on blood pressure and those who suffer from heart disease. The concentration and focus slows the heart rate, which is extremely beneficial to people susceptible to all kinds of heart problems. Yoga played a huge role in Dean Ornish, MD’s heart disease program, one of the first to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet in place of surgery. Yoga has a possible anti-oxidant effect on bodies, and it has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.
Learning and Memory
One of the newest discoveries in yoga’s benefits, some studies have suggested that yoga can positively affect learning and memory. Some researchers say that yoga can slow the aging process, increase self-acceptance, and improve energy levels in general. In general, however, yoga increases spiritual awareness.
Yoga practice stretches you while massaging your internal organs, which improves their ability to prevent disease. If you are a regular practitioner, you will become extremely attuned to your body’s function and you will know exactly when something is not functioning properly. By taking a real interest in your body, you will take care of it to the best of your ability.
There are so many reasons to get into yoga, it is hard to understand why there are still people who choose not to try it. Just give it one try— the way you feel will be enough to hook you!