Beautiful Benefits of Yoga

Yoga.. or as I call it “my calming time”. Many people think that because they are not flexible they cannot do yoga, uh…WRONG! Yoga is much more then twisting into a pretzel position. This post is going to explain all the health benefits of yoga and why it’s so helpful for everyone individually.

Besides Yoga being a great stretching & exercise practice, it is a great practice to be able to help reconnect your mind and emotions to your body helping live life with more fulfillment. Think of it as a preventative or restorative health care…

People tend to separate their minds from their bodies and end up feeling disconnected with the things and people around them. Yoga can assist in tackling the split between rational mind and emotions to promote personal growth . Yoga is a great way to put you in touch with your real feelings & balance your emotional life. This is where savasana, the meditation at the end of your yoga session, is important. Although not moving, it is claimed to be the hardest move. Laying still,  quietly, awake, and relaxing the mind is extremely difficult. Mine teeters from going over my to-do list to falling asleep (literally, got caught snoring).

Everyone has heard that Yoga is a great relaxing and calming exercise. But over the past  5,000 years, Yoga has been very beneficial for it’s users by helping their body function properly. Here are some examples…

The American Osteopathic Association states that Yoga can:

• Increase flexibility (everyone will be on different levels, don’t get discouraged)

• Increase muscle strength & tone – putting weight and stretching muscles that aren’t normally used

• Improves respiration, energy, and vitality (umm yes!)

• Helps maintain a balanced metabolism

• Helps with weight reduction (mix up your daily workouts still, cardio one day, yoga the next)

• Improves your cardio and circulatory health (great at sending blood flow to different parts of the body)

• Improves athletic performance

• Helps protection from injury

 

Yoga Journal states that Yoga can:

• Perfects posture

• Prevents cartilage & joint breakdown

• Protects the spine

• Develops your bone health

• Increases your blood flow

• Drains lymphs & boosts immunity and helps system function properly

• Ups your heart rate

• Lowers blood pressure

• Regulates adrenal glands

• Makes you happier

• Sets a foundation for a healthier lifestyle

• Lowers blood sugar

• Helps you focus, relaxes your system

• Improves your balance- linked to knee/back pain

• Maintains nervous system

• Releases tension

• Helps you sleep deeper

• Gives lungs room to breathe

• Prevents IBS and other digestive problems

• Gives peace

• Increases self esteem, inner strength

• Eases pain

• Builds awareness for transformation

• Uses sounds to soothe sinuses

• Keeps allergies and viruses away

• Encourages self care

• Supports your connective tissue

Yoga is one of those full mind & body exercises. It works out every part of you. As someone who grew up with severe panic attacks, OCD, a lot of health issues and extreme anxiety, yoga was something that I slowly worked into my every day to regain control of my mind and to relax my body. Now that I am older, it has become a huge part of my daily life as I continue to recover from my migraine surgery, gain confidence in my practice, and allow myself that time to appreciate myself and rest the mind. I  love hearing people’s personal stories about their experience with yoga & what they get out of it. I have asked a couple of my amazing friends to give their Yoga stories as inspiration and motivation for you, readers…

Alex, male; 26

“Yoga has been a helpful tool in my life, both throughout my athletic careers and after them. During my athletics, yoga was an important part of my training to improve flexibility, reducing the risk of injury, and to keep me emotionally grounded and relaxed throughout long, intense seasons. Since moving on from competitive sports, yoga has remained a part of my training as something to expand upon and continually challenge myself with. It’s a perfect way to learn more about myself, mentally and physically, and something I will continue to practice throughout my life.”

Krysti, female; 31

” I’ve been doing yoga for more than half my life. My mom got me doing it to help my migraines. The effect on my headaches was minimal but I loved it so much that I stuck with it. After my son was born, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I had gotten away from my yoga practice but started it back up at the recommendation of my therapist. After a couple of years, it helped so much that I decided to enroll in a yoga teacher training course – perhaps if I could bring peace to myself, I could help others as well. Yoga is humbling. I’m halfway through my training and I’ve learned that I will be a forever-student. There will always be something to learn. The most interesting thing to me? Yoga has become such a visual thing – on Instagram, we are flooded with images of women doing handstands and twisted in complicated poses. In reality, yoga is not about the complicated poses – it is about being in the present moment and it is about the breath – the pranayama. ”

 

yogajournal.com

 

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