Some Benefits of Yoga
Flexibility: When people hear the word ‘yoga’, most would think of people in impossible-looking positions and they’d be partially right as posing in various positions, or ‘asanas’, is a major part of yoga. There is a reason for it though. By stretching your body in ways it doesn’t usually stretch, you’re exercising a whole variety of muscles and joints that may otherwise be neglected. Over time this will give parts of your body a greater range of motion.
Strength: Impossible-looking positions that involve supporting your entire body weight on one leg, or your arms, require a great amount of strength. If you don’t have it, these asanas will be sure to give it you.
Muscle Tone: Through performing the positions that practice your strength, you’ll undoubtedly see more definition in your muscles.
Pain Prevention: By improving flexibility & strength you reduce the risk of injuring yourself through strain injuries that can lead to severe back pain.
Improved Breathing: Most of us don’t give much thought to how we breathe. Pranayama, breathing exercises specific to yoga, focus on breath and teach us how to use our lungs better, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.
Calmness: Many of the positions practiced in yoga require so much concentration that your mind will be focused on nothing else, inducing a great state of mental calmness. The teaching of breathing techniques and practice of meditation also help to clear your mind of any hectic thoughts allowing you to just relax.
Stress Reduction: It’s a widely held concept that physical activity helps to alleviate stress and this is very true with yoga. The intense concentration required for yoga will make your day to day worries float out of your mind for the duration of your yoga session. The induced calmness with also give you some breathing room to take stock of your life and put things into perspective.
Body Awareness: Yoga asanas will make you more aware of the both the capabilities & limitations of your own body, which can lead to an improved posture that won’t cause you trouble in years to come.