Benefits of Yoga
You’ve probably already heard that yoga is healthy. You might have even tried it and found that it makes you feel better. There are many mental and physical health perks to doing something regularly. Some, like being more flexible, are easy to see.
Others, like making your mind clearer and lowering your stress, are more subtle but just as strong. You can keep track of your progress with an exercise journal. When put together, these benefits of yoga help people feel better, which is one reason why so many people are drawn to it. Here are the best reasons to do yoga and some poses you can try to get the most out of it.
Benefits of Yoga
- Improves flexibility
- Builds strength
- Improves balance
- Supports joint health
- Eases and prevents back pain
- Teaches better breathing
- Fosters mental calmness
- Reduces stress
If you move your body and stretch in new ways, you will become more flexible and be able to move tight spots more. You can expect your legs, back, shoulders, and hips to get more flexible over time. A yoga mat can help you stay stable during more difficult poses.
The benefits of yoga on male college athletes were looked at in a study that came out in 2016 and was published in the International Journal of Yoga. Over the course of the 10-week study, the group that did yoga showed big improvements in flexibility and balance compared to the group that didn’t. The study’s authors came to the conclusion that players might be able to do better in sports and be more flexible if they do yoga.
Most people get less flexible as they get older, especially if they spend a lot of time sitting, which can cause pain and make it hard to move. This can be stopped with yoga. In 2015, a study done in China found that 12 weeks of Hatha yoga made people with an average age of 50 more flexible. Physical strength and stamina in the heart and lungs were also improved by the practise.
Poses to Try:
Reclined Big Toe Pose (Supta Pandangusthasana) stretches the legs and calves. To gradually get more flexible, you can change the pose by using a yoga strap.
Eye of the Needle Pose, which is also called Reclined Pigeon Pose, makes the hips more flexible and improves their range of motion. It also gives the iliotibial (IT) band and piriformis a gentle stretch.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana) is a balancing pose that works the legs, hips, and adductors and makes the shoulders more flexible.
Many yoga poses, like standing on one leg or holding yourself up with your arms, require you to support your body weight in new and often difficult ways. Holding these poses for a few breaths helps your muscles get stronger and last longer.
As you get stronger, you should notice that your muscles are more toned. Yoga helps your legs, arms, back, and stomach become long and lean.
Poses to Try:
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) works the hamstrings, calves, and ankles while strengthening the shoulders, hands, and arms in the upper body.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana) strengthens and stretches your legs and core while trying your balance. The foot’s muscles and joints also get stronger when the foot is standing.
In Chair Pose (Utkatasana), the lower body and stomach muscles get stronger, and the upper back gets stretched.
Plank pose is a popular fitness move that works the upper body and core while strengthening the hands, wrists, and muscles in the back of the body (called the “posterior chain”).
Balance exercises are important for people of all ages. Athletes find that it makes them stronger, and busy people find that it makes their workouts and fitness level better. Balance training helps you improve your stance and function, which makes it easier for you to move around in your everyday life.
Strengthening and stabilizing the core with exercises can make you more agile and keep you from stumbling or falling. One of the best things about yoga, especially as you get older, is that it helps you keep your balance. Asanas that require you to stand on one leg or, for more experienced yogis, flip you over in an inversion, can be a great way to build the core strength you need to stay standing.
Poses to Try
Chair Pose (Utkatasana): To stay stable in this pose, you need to use your core as you reach your seat back and your arms forward and up.
Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) strengthens your core and tests your balance. This move also makes your ankles and legs stronger and stretches your hamstrings.
As you move from one Warrior Pose to the next (Virabhadrasana I, II, and III; Humble Warrior and Devotional Warrior), your balance is tested. Try these moves as part of a Warrior series for a full set of yoga poses.
Supports Joint Health
Yoga moves are low-impact, which means that you can use your joints without hurting them. Yoga also strengthens the muscles around the joints, which makes them easier to move. People with arthritis often feel less pain and can move around better when they do gentle yoga regularly.
Poses to Try:
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) helps move the spine and strengthens the hips.
- In Mountain Pose (Tadasana), the feet and knees are supported and the body’s posture is improved.
- Child’s Pose (Balasana) moves the spine and widens the knee and ankle joints’ range of motion.
- Anjaneyasana, or Crescent Lunge, moves the back and hips and keeps the knee joints stable.
Eases and Prevents Back Pain
Some kinds of back pain can be prevented by becoming more flexible and strong. People who have back pain often spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving. This makes the whole body tight and puts pressure on the spine. Studies have shown that yoga can help ease common back pain complaints, so it can help with these problems.
Poses to Try
- Cat-Cow Poses (Chakravakasana): Both Cat and Cow poses stretch and strengthen the spinal column as it bends and straightens. This can help relieve pressure on the lower back.
- Seated Spinal Twist, also called Half Lord of the Fishes Pose or Ardha Matsyendrasana, involves rotating the spine to support movement in the spinal column, especially in the neck (cervical spine).
- The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) moves the spine in a way that makes it more flexible. This is called spinal extension.
Teaches Better Breathing
Most people take short, shallow breaths and don’t think much about how they do it. Pranayama exercises help us pay attention to our breathing and learn how to take deeper breaths, which is good for the whole body.
Breathwork is a part of yoga that can help your body and mind, both on and off the mat. Some types of pranayama, like Skull Shining Breath (Kapalabhati Pranayama), can also help clear the nasal passages, which is good for people with allergies. Ujjayi Breath can help calm the nervous system.
Poses to Try
- Three-Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama) is a practise that helps you feel calm and rooted by using your breath to bring your attention to the present moment and tune into your body’s feelings.
- Equal Breath (Sama Vritti Pranayama) helps you calm down and pay attention by keeping your mind while you count 4–6 breaths in for each inhale and 4–6 breaths out for each exhale.
- Cooling Breath (Sitali Pranayama) is done by taking long, slow, deep breaths through a rolled tongue or pursed lips. This calms and cools the body.
Fosters Mental Calmness
Asana practise in yoga is very physically demanding. When you pay attention to what your body is doing, your mind calms down. Yoga also teaches you how to meditate, like how to pay attention to your breath and let go of your feelings.
There is a lot of solid evidence that yoga is good for your mind. For example, a 2018 study in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine found that 52 women who took part in the study felt much less stressed, anxious, and depressed after 12 weeks of Hatha yoga.
Also, there is more and more proof that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can benefit from yoga. A study from 2014 found that yoga can help people who have been traumatized deal with physical and sensory events that remind them of fear and helplessness. Researchers found that yoga helped people become more aware of their emotions, which was linked to their ability to deal with their symptoms.
Also Read: https: 9 More Benefits of Yoga
Poses to Try
- Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) strengthens the knees and stretches the hamstrings, groynes, and hips. When you open your chest and shoulders, you may feel calmer as you test your balance and stability and keep your mind on what you’re doing.
- As you fold forward in Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), your hips are given a deep stretch and your nervous system is calmed.
- Corpse Pose (Savasana) is called the “final resting pose” because it comes at the end of a yoga session. It is very relaxing and doesn’t take any work on your part. It is a pose for getting the most out of the physical practise while letting the mind settle down and meditate.
Yoga is a great way to relieve stress through movement, and this is true in general. Because you have to focus so hard on yoga, both big and small problems can seem to disappear while you’re on the mat. This gives you a much-needed break from your worries and helps you see how big your problems really are.
Yoga’s focus on being in the present can also help you learn not to think too much about the past or the future. Since yoga lowers cortisol levels, you will feel less stressed when you leave a class than when you came in.
Poses to Try
- In the yoga pose “Standing Forward Bend,” the head is put below the heart to calm the nervous system. Your hamstrings and ankles will also feel a strong stretch. To get the most out of the forward fold, you should bend your knees so you don’t round your back.
- Thunderbolt Pose, or Vajrasana, is a relaxed meditation pose that can be done with extra support from a blanket under the knees and shins. You can also put a yoga block between your feet and sit on that to keep your knees from getting too tired.
- Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani) is a relaxing healing pose that can be made more comfortable by putting a folded yoga blanket under your back or using other props. When it comes to relieving stress, you can stay in this pose longer than in other yoga positions.
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