We all know that practicing yoga has a myriad of benefits for your health. But, did you know that this is all only the tip of the iceberg? As well as improving your body’s posture and increasing weight loss, regularly doing yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, encourage sleep, make you feel better about your body, and all in all make you a better person. In today’s post we bring to you the many incredible benefits of yoga; begin today, and you’ll never look back again.
1. Improved posture and body strength
Practicing the wide range of unique yoga poses will stretch and pull your muscles. For example, the plank pose puts pressure mainly on the arms, shoulders, legs, and abs of the body. You will soon feel the changes in these parts if you do the plank regularly. When muscles get used often, they strengthen and become more flexible too; you will experience less muscle pain and the probability of cramps will decrease. Yoga can help you improve posture and get rid of the slouch forever.
2. More body positivity
At some point in our lives, we have all experienced at least the slightest twinge of insecurity when it comes to our body. There’s no place for body shaming in yoga because curvy girls can rock the poses just like everyone else. There is no perfect “yoga body” and women all over the world have taken to social media to prove it. Simply search for hash tags like #curvyyoga and you’ll find gazillions of pictures of curvy women loving their yoga poses. Encouraging body positivity is extremely important in today’s world and yoga can do exactly that.
3. Better concentration and productivity
Yoga is all about relaxing your mind and concentrating on your breathing. By practicing it for ten minutes in the morning, you are clearing your mind from the jumble of thoughts that dominates it and giving it room to focus. This will increase your productivity throughout the rest of the day and leave you feeling energized to begin work.
4. Less sickness
According to a research carried out in Norway, practicing yoga has been seen to strengthen a person’s immune system. You will get sick less often since a better immune system helps to fight off harmful bacteria and will reduce the chances of you catching cold and other diseases.
5. Less stress and better sleep
The act of doing yoga itself is a super relaxing process. When you close your eyes and begin to gently breathe in and out while doing postures, your mind automatically slips into a more relaxed state. The rhythmic tensing and relaxation of muscles while doing different poses helps your body relax too. According to a study by Harvard University, it is this quality of yoga which leads to better sleep in insomniacs. The study was conducted on insomniacs who went through 8 weeks of regular yoga, and then reportedly experienced better sleep.
6. Improved diet
Binge-eating due to guilt and other emotions can definitely come to a stop for yoga practitioners. Why? Research conducted by the University of Washington indicates that yoga-lovers concentrate more on their eating habits compared to other people. This is due to the sense of calm and clarity that practicing yoga brings, thus reducing the harmful and excessive emotions that lead to binge-eating. Your brain will focus more on your hunger and as a result, you will begin to see food as fuel – nothing more.
7. Healthier heart
Among its numerous health benefits, this is probably the most important one: yoga is able to reduce high blood pressure in practitioners. In the same way that regular exercise pumps more blood to your heart, regular yoga does too. Moreover, its calming effect relaxes you and reduces overall stress. You will lose weight, by burning unhealthy fats and also take better care of your diet, thus reducing the intake of cholesterol too. High blood pressure, harmful cholesterol, obesity, and stress are all major symptoms of heart disease – by practicing yoga, you’re basically reducing them all.
“Just 15 minutes of yoga a day can change your brain chemistry and improve your mood.”
No, we did not make that up – it’s been scientifically proven true. A recent study has shown that regularly practicing yoga increases levels of serotonin (happiness hormone) in the brain which results in a better mood. Moreover, if you’ve been practicing for a long period of time, the regions of your brain which deal with contentment increase in mass. Yoga can improve your mood and actively fight depression and anxiety in your mind. Try it – you may be surprised by what you find.
These are only a handful of the huge number of benefits we can list when it comes to embracing yoga. Hopefully, the above are more than enough to give you the boost you need to get started. We said it before and we’ll say it again: once you start, you will never want to stop!