Yoga’s Bountiful Benefits
May 23, 2012
Last week we introduced the history of yoga and what the 5,000 year old practice entailed (read part one here). This week we expand on the topic to let you in on all the secret benefits that yoga can bring into your life. The exercise art of yoga differs from standard cardio or stretching programs because of the meditation based history that makes yoga such a unique practice. The benefits can be both mental and physical, which truly proves to be a total body workout.
The mental benefits of yoga are endless; some active yoga instructors have said that their moods have been increased, their compassion for others has grown and their relationships have benefitted as well.
Mental Calmness: The art of yoga requires a high amount of focus. The result of concentrating so intently often brings a feeling of euphoric mental calmness.
Stress Reduction: By taking the time to participate in yoga, one is also taking the time to center their mind and concentrate on something other than their growing to-do list. By spending even an hour in meditation-based exercise you can reduce your stress and noticeably improve your outlook on the day.
Body Awareness: While practicing the art of yoga you are spending an hour of quality time with yourself. In this time of meditation and concentration you will likely begin to connect your mind and body. This connection will create a heightened sense of comfort and confidence in your own skin.
In addition to the ever-present mental benefits of yoga, the physical benefits are also numerous:
Pain Prevention: Yoga works nearly every muscle in your body. This workout increases lubrication within joints, ligaments and tendons helping fight against chronic pain. Additionally, practicing yoga poses naturally massages internal organs and promotes overall health.
Increased Flexibility: This form of exercise builds core strength through unique stretching and poses. You may start out with beginner poses, but will surely work towards advancement and will have a visible increase in your natural flexibility.
Strength Building: Yoga differs from other toning exercises in the fact that you are supporting your own weight and thus building strength and resistance that is equal to the weight you carry every day. Any form of exercise builds strength within the human body, but yoga increases your total strength while toning long and lean muscle.
Yoga is known worldwide as a therapeutic muscle toning form of exercise meditation. Classes are often available at local gyms and specialty centers, or videos can be found online for purchase or on YouTubefor at-home workouts. Be sure to check back next week for even more tips on how to use yoga as a stress reliever in everyday life!