When it comes to workouts, yoga is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. This form of exercise was developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, yoga masters began to travel west. This led to the opening of yoga schools and studios as the practice continued to gain in popularity. Today, it is one of the most popular forms of exercise around.
There is a reason why yoga continues to be a go-to among fitness gurus everywhere and that’s because it’s so beneficial to health. It can improve both our mental and physical outlooks making us happier and healthier overall. Read on to find out how good yoga can be for the body and soul.
#1. Improves Posture, Flexibility and Strength
Yoga helps tone and strengthen muscles. The deep stretches boost flexibility and the strict poses improve posture to avoid injuries that occur in the neck and shoulder area.
The downward dog in particular, is great for flexibility while the plank is recommended for boosting muscle tone all over the body.
#2. Provides All-Around Fitness
People might not consider yoga to be a great overall workout. However, it combines elements of cardio and strength training while providing a holistic outlook. This gives it the ability to benefit the body in more ways than one.
#3. Boosts Weight Loss
Yoga boosts the metabolism to speed up weight loss. It also restores hormonal balance which can be beneficial to weight loss.
Yoga also works to reduce stress. In doing so, it lowers levels of cortisol which can contribute to belly fat and overeating.
#4. Boosts Energy
If you are feeling fatigued during the day, yoga can give you the kick start you need.
Yoga opens the energy centers or chakras in your body to make you feel revitalized. The tree pose is recommended as it allows energy to circulate throughout the body. The cobra pose promotes the intake of breath to fight fatigue.
#5. Reduces Stress
Many workplaces are encouraging their workers to do yoga during the day as a way to decrease stress. The poses, breathing and meditation that yoga encourages have been shown to lower heart rate which allows the body to respond to stress in a more flexible way.
Relaxing asana poses are especially effective in calming the body and mind and they can even help you sleep better at night.
#6. Improves Breathing
If you do yoga every day, the breathing techniques will start to influence your everyday life. As a result, you will be better able to handle stress. Your lung capacity and tidal volume will also improve keeping you protected from respiratory illnesses.
#7. Boosts Mood
Practicing yoga has been shown to boost levels of serotonin, the happiness hormone. Studies have also revealed that it can help the brain produce higher gamma-aminobutyric levels which minimize anxiety and depression. Those who do as little as 15 minutes of yoga a day will experience a change in brain chemistry that will improve mood for the better.
#8. Become More Mindful
Yoga increases mindfulness. This gives a person an increased ability to be more aware and more appreciative of the world around them. Being more focused on ‘the now’ allows people to focus less on the past or future and the stress that comes with them. It also allows them to be more focused on what’s in front of them to boost productivity.
#9. Improves Focus
Mindfulness helps you hone in on the present to become more focused. This is further aided by yoga’s deep breathing techniques. Concentrating on your breathing provides you with more focus and increased cognitive ability overall.
#10. Boost Longevity
Yoga reduces heart rate and stress while boosting mood. This makes you happier and healthier contributing to a longer life span. Studies have also shown that the meditative aspect of meditation can delay the process of aging by protecting the telomeres (caps) at the end of our chromosomes.
Now that you know how beneficial yoga can be, when will you be signing up for your first class?