Yoga originated many years ago as a source of spiritual development. This practice has evolved in such a way that these days, we tend to use it more as a form of exercise, with focus centering around the poses (“asanas”) than in the meditative and relaxing aspects.
But actually, if we think about yoga as a whole, it’s clear that it is a great practice that brings together the mind and body. Practicing yoga can offer physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages.
Yoga’s physical benefits 💪🏻
The techniques used in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
This is mostly because yoga:
- Builds muscle strength
Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain.
- Perfects your posture
It helps improve your posture, and it improves spine mobility. This is important because poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems.
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by “squeezing and soaking” areas of cartilage that normally aren’t used.
- Increases your blood flow
Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, in your hands and feet. This also makes oxygen get to your cells faster, which then function better as a result. This can help if you have swelling in your legs.
Other physical benefits of yoga include:
- Increased flexibility
- Improved respiration, energy, and vitality
- Maintenance of a balanced metabolism
- Weight reduction
- Cardio and circulatory health
Yoga’s mental benefits 🧠
- Yoga relaxes you and helps you sleep better.
It’s proven that an established bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep (this time we are more referring to a meditating yoga practice though).
- Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods.
You may feel increased mental and physical energy, a boost in alertness and enthusiasm, and fewer negative feelings after getting into a routine of practicing yoga.
- Yoga helps you manage stress.
As a result of better moods, yoga can support stress management, better mental health, and mindfulness.
- Yoga connects you with a supportive community.
Participating in yoga classes can ease loneliness and provide an environment for group healing and support. Even during one-on-one sessions, loneliness is reduced as one is acknowledged as a unique individual, listened to, and participates in the creation of a personalized yoga plan.
- Yoga promotes better self-care and elevates your self-esteem.
If you practice regularly with an intention of self-examination and betterment – not just as a substitute for an aerobics class – you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you’re part of something bigger.
Now that you know all these benefits, you are probably already thinking of enrolling yourself in a yoga class. The thing is that there are many different yoga “styles”. Some of them are more vigorous than others, while some may have a different area of emphasis. We do recommend that you try the one that fits your goals the most, but if you are one of those who like to try different things, then hot yoga is for you.
What is hot yoga? 🔥🥵
Hot yoga is a style of yoga performed under humid and hot conditions that lead to considerable sweating. So it means that plus all the benefits mentioned before, you will detoxify your body (that’s what all that sweating is good for).
Whatever type of yoga you choose, incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility, and reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.