Are you thinking of trying Yoga and wondering what are its benefits? Well, if that is what you have in mind, then benefits are loads and loads and loads! From increased strength to flexibility to heart health to relaxed mind, we have compiled 20 such wonderful benefits here for you.
First and foremost benefit of Yoga is flexibility. In the beginning, you might not be able to touch your toe or do a backbend, but if you constantly practice, you will observe gradual loosening and you can see yourself doing all impossible poses that seemed to you.
Poor postures can cause back, neck, muscle and joint problems. This may lead to even painful symptoms like arthritis. If you regularly practice Yoga, you can get the posture right and avoid problematic conditions related to posture.
Builds Muscle Strength
Strong muscles do more work than looks. When you shape strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.
Relaxes Your System
Yoga helps you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs.
Spinal discs acts as shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves. With Yogasana, when you do plenty of backbends, forward bends and twists, you will help your disks keep supple.
Increases Blood Flow
One of the most important benefit of Yoga is good blood circulation throughout your body. This eventually helps more oxygen to reach cells that results in better body function. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. This can lead to a decrease in heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the cause of these killers.
Practicing yoga regularly lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise.
Lowers Blood Pressure
With sedentary and stressful lifestyle , it is important that you keep your blood pressure under control. With better circulation and relaxed mind, it is proven that yoga reduces blood pressure.
Regulates Adrenal Glands
Yoga lowers cortisol levels. Adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system. Excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin.
Helps you Focus
One of the most important component of Yoga is focusing on the present. Practicing yoga improves coordination, reaction time, memory, 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 distracted by their thoughts.
Helps You Shift to Healthy Lifestyle
Yoga helps you adapt to eat less and move more theory. Regular yoga practice gets you moving and burn calories, the spiritual and emotional dimensions of your practice may encourage you to address any eating and weight problems on a deeper level. Yoga may also motivate you to become a more mindful eater.
Helps You Get Sound Sleep
Restorative asana such as yoga nidra (a form of guided relaxation), Savasana, pranayama, and meditation encourage pratyahara, provides downtime for the nervous system which relaxes your mind. This helps you get a sound sleep.
Boosts Immune System
Yogasana and pranayama improve immunity. Yoga has beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, boosting and lowering when required.
Prevents Digestive Problems
Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of these can be exacerbated by stress. So if you stress less, you’ll suffer less. Yoga, like any physical exercise, can ease constipation and strengthen digestive system.
Gives Peace of Mind
Yoga practice slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems—from migraines and insomnia to high blood pressure and heart attacks—if you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier.
Gives You Inner Strength
Yoga can help you make changes in your life. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practice and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits and build your inner strength.
Increases your self-esteem
Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you’ll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine. If you practice regularly with an intention of self-examination and betterment—not just as a substitute for an aerobics class—you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you’re part of something bigger.
Yoga teaches you love and compassion. A regular yoga practice helps develop friendliness, compassion, and greater equanimity. Along with yogic philosophy’s emphasis on avoiding harm to others, telling the truth, and taking only what you need, this may improve many of your relationships.
Helps You Serve Others
Karma yoga (service to others) is integral to yogic philosophy. And while you may not be inclined to serve others, your health might improve if you do. Serving others can give meaning to your life, and your problems may not seem so daunting when you see what other people are dealing with.
Hope these benefits inspire you and practice Yoga regularly!