Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Here are just 5 benefits of Yoga- there are so many more (which I will tell you about in future blogs)! All the time and literally as I write this, Western science is looking to and finding out more about Yoga, and the huge physical and emotional benefits it has.
Don’t expect to see or feel all of these benefits immediately- Yoga is a practice of patience! However, if you are open to it, I’m certain that you will really start to notice them if you commit to practice on a regular basis! Like most things in life- you get out what you are willing to put into it.
“I’m not flexible enough to practice Yoga...”
Oh if I had £1 for every time someone said that to me. Being flexible is not a prerequisite for practising Yoga, it is what happens when you DO practice Yoga!
7 years ago I couldn’t fold forward with straight legs and touch my toes, in-fact I couldn’t do many of the #movements my body is now capable of. With time, practice, and patience the body starts to loosen and open, and what you thought impossible starts to become possible!
2. BUILDS MUSCLE STRENGTH
Forget the Gym!
Yoga is an incredible way to build muscle and muscle strength!
However unlike lifting weights at the gym which is likely to improve your #strength at the expense of your #flexibility, Yoga is a #balance of both. It is literally a full body workout- activating and working areas that you probably didn’t even realise existed within the body.
3. IMPROVED FOCUS
Yoga = higher IQ!!
Studies have shown that people with a regular Yoga practice have improved coordination, reaction time, memory, and even higher IQ scores.
4. IMPROVED SLEEP
Lack of sleep, or good quality sleep can cause a multitude of health issues including high blood pressure and diabetes. Yoga can help!
Too much stimulation (often just a part of our everyday fast paced and noisy lives) affects the nervous system. Yoga is a inward and #reflective practice, quietening the noise of the outside world and slowing us down. Literally giving us time to #breathe and therefore provides downtime for the nervous system.
Due to these factors studies suggest a regular Yoga practice can also help us to #sleep better, and deeper. Of course a huge bonus to this is feeling less tired, less likely to be stressed, binge on foods for sugar.
Better sleep = better overall health and #wellbeing!
Side note: when you first start to practice Yoga this is why you may feel sleepy after a class. It’s worked! You’ve had some time to slow down, your body and mind is #grateful for that, and reacting to it.
As your practice continues regularly this feeling should fade or be distinguished as one of more #relaxation and #presence, but if it doesn’t it may be telling you to take a look at your own sleeping habits.
5. HELPS WITH ACHES & PAINS
Feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders?...
Sitting at a desk all day can and will have long term affects on the body. You may already have some aches and pains, particularly in the neck, shoulders and back.
Practising Yoga asanas (the postures) can not only help to relieve current aches and pains, but can also allow us to be more #aware of the way we sit during the day and therefore help to reduce future aches and pains.
Yoga can also show us particular #movements and techniques that we can use off the mat to stretch out the body during the day. In addition it helps us to be #mindful that we aren’t reacting through our body (shoulders tight, locked jaw, short breaths) when feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and if we are how we might correct this.
Yoga isn’t a magic pill we can pop to make us feel instantly amazing, BUT it has proven incredible benefits to both body and mind. And don’t we owe it to ourselves to take care of ourselves?
Even if we feel super busy and have lots to do- that is in fact when we should and need to be taking that time out!
Until next time...