Yoga is a great physical and mental form on exercise. While many gym rats might shudder at the idea of taking a yoga class, it is great for beginning and experienced gym-goers. Yoga is a very accepting practice open to all ages and fitness levels. There are many benefits of yoga.
Yoga has numerous health benefits. It’s a great low-impact form of exercise that helps stretch out and tone your muscles. After a long day’s work, it’s great for stress relief and can even help you sleep better at night. Let’s look at five reasons why yoga is great for your mind, body and soul:
Top 5 Benefits of Yoga
1. All-Round Fitness and Strength
While it may look like easy stretching, perhaps useful for warming up before a workout, the yoga poses require a great amount of strength. Yoga helps elongate your muscles through its many poses and builds overall body strength. With practice you’ll be able to hold poses longer and deeper. If you really stick at it, you may even eventually hold your entire body weight in arm balance poses like crow.
2. Stress Relief
Among the many benefits is the fact yoga is great exercise for the mind and for the body. Just a few minutes of yoga a day can help rid the body of stress that accumulates during the day. Yoga focuses a lot on breathing and mediation, which are both effective techniques for managing and releasing stress.
3. Increased Flexibility and Better Posture
Practising yoga regularly stretches and tones all the muscles in your body, making them strong, supple and flexible. In many yoga poses, you’ll find you use little muscles you never knew you had. These little muscles tend to be stability muscles for proper posture and healthy joints. Yoga can improve your posture when you sit, stand, sleep and walk. It can potentially reduce aches and pains, like back pain.
4. Improved Balance
As one can imagine, yoga requires good balance. Standing on one foot, or balancing your body weight on just your hands, is not easy. Regular yoga practice increases your proprioception, or the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space. Good balance is especially important in older adults.
5. Better Sleep
Yoga is great stress relief and a break from your hectic lifestyle. Yoga, especially yoga nidra, can help you sleep better. Yoga nidra is a form of guided relaxation that provides downtime for your nervous system which is constantly being stimulated throughout the day.
Another of the benefits of yoga is you’ll sleep deeper and better.
Yoga is a great form of exercise for anybody. It has numerous health benefits, like increased flexibility and strength, and it can improve your sleep. There are many styles of yoga, so pick one you like and practice it regularly to reap the benefits for your mind, body, and soul.
If the connection to meditation and religion/spirituality puts you off, then why not give Pilates a try?