The ancient practice of Yoga has become a worldwide phenomenon in recent years. What started as a spiritual practice eons ago is now one of the leading methods of promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being. A quick search on the topic "yoga" will present you with numerous research studies like this one and accounts of personal experiences of people who have benefited greatly from practicing yoga in their daily lives.
Whether you are new to the practice of yoga or a sincerely committed yogi, it is always refreshing to know and reaffirm the many benefits of yoga in our daily lives. This article outlines the 10 topmost benefits of yoga on your physical and mental health. Read on to learn more about this wonderful holistic practice.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga not only impacts your physical health but also has profound positive effects on your mental health and even your spiritual well-being. Let's take a look at some of the benefits that yoga has on your physical, mental (and even spiritual) health.
1. Better Muscle Strength
One of the primary things that yoga focuses on is improving the muscle strength of your body. The asanas or poses like downward dog, warrior and the famous plank are well known for their ability to improve your body's muscle strength by exercising the core muscles. A side benefit to improved strength, especially to core muscles is improved balance, which is important for safe movement at all ages.
2. More Flexibility
Another important aspect of yoga is that it improves your flexibility considerably when practiced regularly. The numerous asanas aim at moving various muscles, bones, and joints of your body. The result is a more flexible body that gives you improved mobility through a greater range of motion.
3. Improved Metabolism
It is known that the yoga poses are aimed at providing purification to your body. To this extent, it is often found that regular practice of yoga aids in digestion, thereby improving your body's metabolism process.
4. Increased Bone Density
A study conducted in 2016 found that regular yoga practice for a decade resulted in better bone density of the femur and spinal column in patients with osteoporosis.
This is because weight-bearing exercises, which are common in yoga routines, help in improving bone density with age.
5. Better Blood Flow and Circulation
Poses like the handstand and the standing forward bend improve the blood circulation in your body. These poses enable the blood to flow from your legs to pelvis and finally to your heart. And better circulation is instrumental in maintaining proper health.
6. Reduced Stress
An average yoga session can successfully decrease the levels of cortisol in your brain. Cortisol is the main hormone that is often associated with fear and stress. It also negatively impacts your brain's prefrontal cortex, thus affecting your self-control.
Reduction in cortisol levels effectively reduces your stress.
7. Better Anxiety Management
Yoga also produces certain good hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which improves your creative senses and helps you to manage your anxiety better.
8. Improved Focus and Mental Clarity
With less stress and anxiety and improved creativity, you almost always get better concentration levels and focus by practicing yoga. Your mind is not weighed down with negative thoughts as often and you can experience better mental clarity in your everyday tasks.
9. A Calmer Mind
Needless to say, reduced stress and anxiety levels result in a calm mind. You will find that you do not feel harried over small decisions. In this aspect, practicing yoga is meditative in its impact. A calmer mind is a productive mind.
10. Sense of Happiness
And finally, all the above physical and mental benefits come together to result in the final sense of well-being- happiness. When you feel physically more fit and mentally poised, then you are bound to discover a new-found sense of happiness in life. Happiness is an elusive thing but perhaps it can be best achieved with a healthy mind and body.
To Sum Up
In this era of multi-tasking and competing demands for our energies, it is imperative that you take good care of both your mind and body to lead a fulfilled life. What better way to go about it than by incorporating yoga into your lifestyle? It is a practice that has been known to help millions of people to become healthier, more productive and fulfilled over the ages.
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