7 Ways Yoga Benefit Your Health
For those without a yoga practice, it may seem just a trendy way of exercising. But if you’re considering getting started, know this: it could well inspire you to start living your healthiest life. Here are seven ways having a yoga practice benefits your health mentally, emotionally and physically.
Daily yoga can inspire healthy eating
Getting your body moving on a daily basis has a way of getting your mind on your overall health. It motivates you to want to make sure the rest of your daily practices, like the fuel you put into your body, are congruent with your healthy exercising. Even organic food doesn’t contain the same nutrients as it once did so it’s smart to look into supplements like antioxidant rich red superfood powder, among others, to balance out your exercise and diet.
Yoga helps you with mindful eating
Many people in this busy modern life have developed eating disorders. This is not necessarily something extreme, rather, it can be more insidious such as bolting food quickly and not giving time for fullness to register. Yoga encourages you to develop your mindfulness, and you may find that this extends to not only being mindful about what you’re eating, but also to being mindful while you’re eating.
Yoga is good for your mental health
If you take classes from a yoga studio, or you do a bit more in-depth research, you’ll find that yoga is a lot more than just a bunch of postures, the so-called “asanas”. It actually benefits your mental health. Using meditation, breathing exercises, mantras, alongside a yoga practice will help you still your mind and distinguish the negative thinking from the positive.
The more you can do, the more you want to
Once you start getting your body moving in new ways, you will likely feel inspired to see what else it can do. A good yoga teacher will offer different modifications so that whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student, you will be able to do each pose. As you progress, you can challenge yourself to perform other variations. Remember, a millimeter a week soon adds up to a centimeter, and then to many centimeters.
Yoga affects the body in unexpected ways
Even when you do a gentle form of yoga, you will start seeing the difference in how yoga sculpts your body. This is more than your clothes fitting differently. As you begin to do poses that have you standing more erect, opening up your chest, and putting your shoulders back, you may be surprised at how it also transforms your experience of your body.
Yoga affects the mind and the body relationship and your ability to detect problems before they occur
Another aspect of yoga is the unification of body and mind. Too often, people rush through life without having any connection between body and mind. So much time is spent in the brain that when people exercise, they focus on pushing their bodies to the limit and ignoring any sensations of pain. Yoga, however, works to unite body and mind. This can have huge benefits for health, as it makes you more likely to notice the signals that your body is giving you when it’s unwell, rather than having to wait until the problem is severe.
Medical professionals recommend yoga for cardiovascular health, stress and more
Don’t just take our word for it. There have been a number of studies on the benefits of yoga, and many of these have become accepted by hospitals such as John Hopkins, one of the preeminent medical centres in the U.S. Besides strength and flexibility, these benefits include:
1. Stress management
2. Better sleep
3. Relief of back pain
4. Improved heart health
5. Lessening of symptoms of arthritis
For more on the clinical studies visit YogaMeds on our sister site BeginnersYogaGuide.com.
If you’ve tried a yoga class and felt like it wasn’t for you, don’t give up. There are many different styles of yoga out there to choose from, so you may just need to try a few to find a good fit. Finding the right teacher can make all the difference as well. There are many options online, including some free videos, so you can try a variety of classes to find a discipline that inspires you. Check out YouTube or try some of our free online yoga classes with great yoga teachers from Anna Ashby to Zephyr Wildman.
Emily Burton is a health enthusiast. With a degree in Kinesiology, she has spent years dedicated to healthy lifestyle studies. She now writes for local and private blogs, newsletters, and magazines. When she isn't writing, she is spending time with her husband and two sons.
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