There is a lot of hype in the media about yoga at the moment, especially concerning its many benefits to our bodies and general well being. Maybe you have tried yoga and you have felt great afterwards but what exactly are these health improvements that yoga can provide you?
Initially, yoga can help you physically by increasing your flexibility. Day to day grind can often make us stiff and achy, but the nature of yoga movements’ stretch out our muscles which overtime promotes increased flexibility and suppleness.
When you attend a yoga class you will be shown breathing exercises that focuses on teaching the best way to breathe and utilise our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Many of us do not know how to respire properly and only take shallow breaths. Nevertheless, once you have accomplished enhanced breathing through yoga you can also be educated in other breaths that can help clear the nasal passage and even calm the central nervous system which can assist both physical and mental well being.
Many yoga poses require you to bear your own body weight in ways that you would not normally do, for example the tree pose requires shifting body weight onto one leg and the downward dog balances weight through your arms. A lot of poses entail very slow movements to get in and out of them which need controlled power. That’s why yoga is brilliant for increasing your personal strength. Yoga helps build long, lean muscles. As a consequence of gaining extra strength and power from yoga positions you will quickly become aware of increased muscle tone. This is excellent if you are looking to lose a few extra pounds as it is a well know fact that muscle mass burns more calories then fat.
Many of us suffer from moderate to severe back pain and put up with it day-in-day-out. The majority of us who suffer in silence with back pain spend a large amount of our time sitting down, either in the car or at our desks. This can cause tightness and spinal compression, which fortunately can be eased with habitual yoga sessions that will increase you flexibility and strength.
As you have read above, yoga is exceptional for physical health but it is also incredibly positive for your mental well being also.
Yoga practice can be intensely physical and when the mind focuses so closely on the body’s actions it brings calmness to the mind. Yoga sessions will also introduce you to meditation techniques including breathing exercises and separation of thoughts which both will help to calm the mind. Also, during yoga sessions you will be required to make small, delicate movements to your body when in positions to advance your alignment. Consequently, you will find an increased awareness of your own body. Over time, this will make you more at ease with your body, improve your posture and give you greater self-confidence.
We can all at some point during our lives feel under pressure and stressed due to increasing day-today demands. Physical activity is great for reducing stress levels and this is especially true of yoga. Due to the intense concentration necessary during yoga, it can feel that your worries, however large, just dissolve during a session. This can offer a greatly required break from your uncertainties and can put thoughts into perspective.
The joy of yoga is that it highlights the moment in hand which can help distress by making you not dwell on past events or be anxious about trouble in the future. Find a yoga class near you and start reaping the all-round benefits yoga has to offer.
2. Bikram Yoga