Yoga can greatly improve our health on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Here's our list of the top ten reasons why you should start now!
What are the main benefits of yoga?
There are an estimated 200 million people worldwide who practice yoga, online communities dedicated to yoga have grown exponentially in recent years, and the pandemic has further increased this trend. Many people have experienced highly stressful, anxiety and fear during lockdown. Yoga seems to be an answer to the need to manage these negative emotions. Not only that, yoga also has the advantage of being able to be practiced anywhere with just a few accessories (a mat, a block, a strap, and you're set) so during the quarantines it was a valuable aid in keeping fit.
What is yoga good for?
More and more scientific studies confirm the benefits of yoga on our body-mind-spirit. From posture, to digestion, to a happier heart, yoga is good for many reasons. The benefits of yoga, however, come with consistent practice. After a yoga class we may feel good right away with our energy at its peak, but most of the benefits of yoga are long-term, so to enjoy them you need to make yoga part of your life on a daily basis. Doing a few sun salutations or practicing for 10 minutes, but every day can really do a lot of good
Top 10 yoga benefits
1. Yoga to get rid of stress and anxiety
Practicing yoga regularly helps lower stress levels. Performing asana positions allows the body to release the tensions that accumulate during the day. In addition, pranayama breathing control techniques help to oxygenate the brain and body, allowing us to relax in times of stress and regain balance.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere. If we realize we are stiff from a stressful day we can do some asanas even while sitting in our office chair or do some slow breathing to regain relaxation.
Yoga also helps you create space and detach from your emotions. With Dhyana yogic meditation we learn to observe our thoughts and understand that we are not those thoughts and do not have to identify with our emotions. Creating this detached and external point of observation is the first step in beginning to manage a state of anxiety or panic.
2. Yoga is good for the heart
Yoga practice has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system. Yoga lowers blood pressure, improves lipid metabolism, supports heart rate control, helping to reduce episodes of tachycardia or fibrillation. It is therefore considered a primary prevention system for several heart disorders. For a happier heart you can do a practice focused on the fourth chakra, anahata. (the heart chakra).
3. Boosts good mood and energy
One of the benefits of yoga is to counteract depressive states and a recharge of good mood, stimulates the production of endorphins and seratonin. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that yoga practice is linked to the appearance of neurons and gray mass. The positive energy that yoga practice gives us makes us more creative and full of energy.
4. Yoga strengthens the immune system
As already mentioned, yoga defends us from stress, which is one of the main reasons for the lowering of the immune system, but there's more! One of the benefits of yoga is the stimulation of the lymphatic system, the system that has the task of cleaning our body of toxins, waste products such as dead cells, bacteria and viruses. Breathing and physical movement are the two ways to activate our lymphatic system and yoga does both. Controlled pranayama breathing and asana postures that work on the diaphragm are particularly effective in getting the body's lymph moving and activating the elimination of toxins. Ultimately, oxygenating the lungs and activating circulation are additional boosts to our defenses.
5. Practicing yoga for quality sleep
Those who practice yoga know that at the end of every lesson there is the relaxation phase in Shavasana. Who hasn't fallen asleep at least once after practicing? You're not supposed to, but it happens, because yoga lulls us to sleep and helps us sleep well. Yoga teaches many relaxation techniques that, with the endorphins produced, help us fall asleep gently. Finally, yoga also helps to have a good digestion, which is essential to have a peaceful sleep.
6. Improved flexibility, balance, strength
Perhaps one of the most well-known benefits of yoga is increased flexibility. Yoga stretches muscles and tendons, making us capable of movements we never thought we could do. Yoga also develops balance, just think of the tree position Vrksasana, with yoga practice we learn to move the center of gravity depending on the asana position we are doing. Yoga in addition acts positively on the bones and muscles making us stronger.
7. Improves breathing
Breathing is fundamental in yoga. Some yoga styles such as ashtanga vinyasa revolve around the synchronization of movement and breathing. Yoga has many breathing techniques such as the alternate nostril Nadi Shodhana or the victorious Ujjayi. Good breathing ensures better oxygenation of the blood, which can better flush every part of the body. In addition, yogic breathing allows for a calmer mind, regular, slow and deep breathing, increasing thoracic capacity and preventing episodes of hyperventilation.
8. Yoga improves posture
The awareness of your body that you acquire through yoga practice comes in very handy for correcting your posture. Crooked shoulders and backs bent behind a desk, the head bent over the smatphone, there are many bad habits that ruin our posture. Yoga gives us the tools to straighten ourselves out. A good posture is not only useful to eliminate some physical pains, but it also helps us in self-esteem because it gives us elegance and confidence in moving among others.
9. Relieves chronic pain
Back pain and migraines are just some of the most common frame pains that many people have to live with. Yoga practice helps reduce these discomforts and help alleviate the impact that chronic pain has on our lives.
10. Helps you connect with yourself
Yoga allows us to carve out a moment dedicated to ourselves, the yoga mat becomes a sacred and inviolable place we take refuge when we need to connect body-mind and spirit and look inward. Yoga can be your starting point for a journey of reflection and personal growth.
11. Ally of women
We're adding this benefit as an eleventh so as not to leave male yogis with nine benefits! But we could not forget to point out that yoga is a great ally of women. There are yoga practices designed for pre-menstrual syndrome, there are specific courses of yoga in pregnancy and finally even yoga for menopause can support the woman even in this crucial phase of life. In short, yoga is an inexhaustible resource for every phase of the development of femininity and being a woman.
Now all that's left is for you to roll out your yoga mat, have a good practice!
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