This age-old art has been in practice since time immemorial and has gained global recognition for its various benefits. Yoga is not only practised in some cultures as was the case before but has now been adopted by many people all around the world. It has been recognized as a natural exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility, and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The practice works to balance out your mind, body, and soul. It calms your mind, activates your body muscles and connects with your soul all at the same time bringing in the sense in the phrase “For your mind, body, and soul”.
Yoga will improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and heighten your mental abilities among other benefits expounded below.
- Improve your flexibility.
Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious results of yoga. The stances and postures practise improve flexibility by making your muscles ease up more to certain postures making your body more flexible. Constant yoga practice means that your body is in constant motion making it more prevalent to do certain stances that it was unaccustomed to before. Initially, the body may be rigid and it may seem impossible to carry out some postures which may seem impossible, in time the body loosens up and becomes more flexible making what seemed impossible possible. The pains and aches gradually disappear and the stances come naturally to you.
- Builds muscle strength.
Yoga works your muscles meaning it triggers the muscles that were dormant or not efficiently being used and activates them strengthening them at the same time. Once the muscles start being used they may tire easily but over time they get more accustomed to the motions and the strain hence become stronger. This is not only good for appearance but also for your overall health and wellness. Balanced out with flexibility the body starts operating at optimal state.
- Perfects your posture.
Years of the wrong posture takes a toll on the body making it accustomed to an improper posture, this may lead to complications long term. Yoga straightens out the bone structure and improves the body posture accustoming it once more to the perfect posture. Constant practice aligns the body, supporting it as should be and when the perfect posture is obtained then support all over the body is done efficiently without strain on some muscles. This improves appearance, makes you look more confident and reduces the risk of back, neck, joint problems associated with poor posture.
- Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown.
Yoga stretches out the muscles and takes joints through their full range of motion. The stretches and positions make the joints perform fully as they are meant to which in turn exercises them. This takes away the risk of degenerative joints and joint complications. When your joints fully perform as they are meant to then they are constantly used and do not wear and tear, they are strengthened. The joint cartilage is like a sponge; it receives fresh nutrients only when its fluid is squeezed out and a new supply can be soaked up. Without proper sustenance, neglected areas of cartilage can eventually wear out, exposing the underlying bone-like worn-out brake pads.
- Protects your spine.
The spine, much like the joints, requires movement for restoration and proper functioning. When you move about your spine, not only does it become flexible reducing risk of stiffness, but also releases fluids necessary for its rejuvenation. The spine requires movement to release the stress placed on it by the support it offers. Imagine hunched over a desk for ten years with no physical exercise to ease the position of the spine, this may cause deformation, eventual bent back and gives you a poor posture.
- Better your bone health.
Not only are the muscles catered for by yoga but so are the bones. They need constant practice and movement to strengthen and improve their performance. Yoga makes the bones stronger by requiring that you balance your own body weight reducing risks of conditions like osteoporosis, a condition caused by weak bone structures.
- Improve your blood flow.
The practice gets your blood flowing. Yoga involves the whole body and makes your entire being move, this motion facilitates blood circulation. With the intent of working the whole body, blood is a core factor. The stances open up bloodstreams and improve body flow. This, in turn, gets more oxygen to the cells making for an all-around body health improvement. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released.
- Helps you focus.
By boosting your cognitive abilities it improves your focus. Yoga works to silence thoughts, centres you and make your mind be in the present. This improves focus as in everyday life you will be centred and in the present. Being in the present means you think less about the past, the future and other distractions, it keeps you in the present moment. That centres your focus on the moment you’re in improving your focus.
- Improves your balance.
Alongside strength and flexibility, balance is a key benefit of yoga. Once you have the body strength required and flexibility, then your body is aligned, centred and balanced. This comes about the long-term and you find your body can balance without quivering and shaking or falling as it is balanced.
- Helps you sleep deeper.
Yoga is a relaxation technique that releases stress from the mind and body. This makes one more relaxed and at ease making for a good night’s sleep and a well-rested body. When you stretch out your muscles and bones they become more relaxed. When you silence your mind and thoughts you become more at peace. This makes for deep sleep when bedtime rolls up.
I would recommend you try yoga, not necessarily at a wellness centre or with a trainer as it may be costly, but at home. All you need is a mat, some free space and a guided session be it a video or audio, which are thankfully readily available in this digital age. If you decide to start at home, start with some simple yoga poses and as you get better at it you can do more.
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