How you can improve your health and center your life through yogaPosted on July 10, 2022 Written by: 100% PURE®
Our mantra is, that our bodies are our temples. One of the ways we’ve been staying mindful about our lives and boosting our self-care routines is by staying active and centered through yoga. You may already know that yoga can increase strength, improve flexibility, and help you sleep better.
But are you aware there are more benefits of yoga that extend beyond our leggings and mats? That’s right – and there are many different styles of yoga to suit any yogi. Let’s observe some of the health benefits of this beautiful mind and body training so you can ‘Yuj’ or unite your mind-body with yoga.
History suggests that yoga in one form or another has been for over 5,000 years – and perhaps traced back to more than 10,000 years ago. The term ‘Yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit, and its root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’.
The concept of yoga focuses on uniting the mind, body, and spirit with a Universal Consciousness, and likewise connecting man and nature. This emphasis is to encourage you to take control of your health. In this, we find the heart and purpose of yoga, recognizing how it can elevate one’s wellbeing and mindfulness with continued practice.
If you’ve considered trying yoga, you may have been impressed (albeit a bit overwhelmed) or even skeptical by just how many ‘healing powers’ and styles of yoga exist. With so many different types of practice come an incredible array of benefits that makes yoga not just impactful, but a critical part of life for new and seasoned yogis.
Here are a few key benefits of yoga:
Yoga gives your lungs room to breathe. Can we say it’s like a big, refreshing breath of fresh air?! Yoga encourages you to relax, and take slow, fewer breaths of greater volume, shifting the balance to the parasympathetic nervous system. This signals your body to calm down, and breathe better and more efficiently.
Yoga also promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold, dry air is more likely to trigger an asthma attack in people who are sensitive), and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs.
Better body awareness
Regular yoga practice encourages self-care or “body awareness”. Because of the mind-body wellness promoted by yoga, dedicating this time to physical wellness increases our attention to the sensations and things going on inside ourselves. It’s believed that heightened body awareness can improve how well people take care of themselves in their day-to-day lives.
Improves cardiovascular health
Since yoga gets your blood flowing, it’s no surprise this mind-body training is heart-healthy. Yoga boosts levels of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Since this thins the blood, it can reduce clots, which can possibly decrease heart attacks and strokes since blood clots are often the deadly culprit.
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Since deep breathing is at the core of yoga, its benefits also extend to people with heart disease. Practicing yoga can result in a lower heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce high cholesterol and blood sugar, which are all factors that can increase your risk for heart disease.
Decreases pain in the lower back and other joints
The frequent stretches and poses involved in yoga help to relieve common body aches, such as knee aches, lower back pain, and other joint issues. With improved flexibility, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, which can help with improper alignment – the common cause of knee pain and flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain.
Yoga also improves your body balance and posture, which can reduce back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion, which can ‘reconnect’ neglected areas of cartilage that eventually wear out, exposing you to various conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions.
Improves emotional balance
An important component of yoga is focusing on the present. Regular yoga practice like sitting in uncomfortable yoga postures helps to find stillness within you. It improves emotional balance, helping you to acquire and recall information better—probably because you’re less distracted by your thoughts and emotions.
Yoga allows your body a chance to release emotional blockages, stagnant, energy, and lingering past probably ill emotions. Besides, when you’re balancing the right and left sides of the brain, it results in more emotional stability and increased emotional capacity.
Helps with digestive problems
Ulcers, constipation, gas, and bloating— can be exacerbated by stress. So, if you stress less, you’ll suffer less. Certain yoga positions can ease constipation and other digestive problems because moving the body facilitates more rapid transport of food and waste products through the bowels. It’s often a useful tool and natural alternative therapy to medication, but you should always consult with a doctor beforehand.
Improves muscle tone
Stronger, more toned muscles do more than looking good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and lower back pain. Regular movements and various yoga poses help to build strength in the muscles. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility – a powerful duo for aligning key areas of your body with proper mental and physical balance.
Reduces stress/increases energy levels
Regular yoga flow and that reduction in stress leads to improved mental and physical energy. Studies have found that yoga practice helps to boost serotonin levels and ease anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness is a key part of reducing stress and anxiety, and is a natural byproduct of yoga. Yoga gives us time to dedicate to ourselves and be better with stress management. It allows us to be present, feel more relaxed, relieve muscle tension, and invest in our mental and physical health.
We’ve always known that exercise is an essential piece of our overall health. As you can see, our mantra is, that our bodies are our temples. Yoga may not conquer all, but it certainly can aid in taking control of your life and improving not just your health, but your overall wellness and happiness. Yoga fortifies your soul and at that, ‘Om Shanti’, or go with peace of mind, voice and physical body.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.