Yoga began thousands of years ago (at least 5,000) and with such a long history, it comes as no surprise that there are many advantages to performing this relaxation exercise. After all, that is why it has stayed popular throughout the millennia. Even in recent years with all of our scientific knowledge (specifically medical knowledge) yoga is incredibly popular, being endorsed by both medical professionals and spiritualists. Many people claim that yoga changed their lives because of the benefits it brings and here are just a few of the most common advantages people associate with doing yoga.
One of the most important (and obvious) benefits of yoga is that it helps relax your nervous system. It does this through the various breathing exercises as well as stretching associated with the practice. In addition to relaxing the nervous system, yoga also provides an overall relaxation for your body. It loosens you up, preventing tension. It can also reduce stress and help you learn how to deal with any negative thoughts you experience. By assisting with all these areas of relaxation, also allows you to connect more fully to both your mind and body, providing even greater relaxation as you are more aware.
Because one of the focuses of yoga is on breathing, it is no surprise that one of the benefits of yoga is increasing your lung capacity. That is because not only are there breathing exercises that are separate from the poses, but each pose also requires certain breathing techniques which will help you increase your lung capacity as well as your ability to relax.
There are many medically tested ways to detox your system and remove toxins but most of them make you consume a foul-tasting beverage or drinking large amounts of water. Yoga, however, simply improves your blood circulation which in turn allows your system to clear the toxins more easily.
In addition to providing physical detox advantages, one of the benefits of yoga is an emotional detox. That is because one of the key aspects of yoga is working with your mind to release any unnecessary things, both physical and mental. These can range from material items to friends who are a bad influence or cause drama or simply negative emotions that affect your everyday life.
Although relieving stress may seem like the same thing as an emotional detox, it is unique. The main reason that yoga is great for this is because of its connection with meditation. In addition, stress often causes the body to respond physically, making it ideal to treat with exercise in the form of yoga. Because the most frequent changes associated with stress include increased heart rate, a change in breathing patterns and tension, yoga is ideal to treat this as it focuses on all three of these areas no matter what exercise or type of yoga you are doing.
Many people don't think that yoga can cause weight loss, especially because it seems low impact. However, because you increase your body activity and your blood circulation, your metabolism will increase as well and this is what allows you to lose weight more easily. In addition to bringing about weight loss through physical activity and an increase in metabolism, one of the benefits of yoga is making you more aware of your bodies, specifically its proper health. This helps make you aware of any bad habits (such as bad eating habits).
Great For Aging
One group of people who will see the most benefits of yoga is the elderly. That is because despite its low-impact nature, yoga provides a variety of physical and emotional benefits. As you age, you generally lose your flexibility and balance but yoga does great at either helping you keep up these abilities or redevelop them after losing them. Those who are older and suffer from certain health problems, however, do need to take care as some poses are quite strenuous and others involve stretching beyond the abilities of people with certain health problems. Although no one should feel bad about using a wall or chair for support when doing yoga, this is especially true for the elderly.
Treat Breathing Problems
Asthma is one of the most common breathing problems and when an asthma attack occurs, the airway muscles constrict at the same time that the airway itself sells and becomes inflamed, making breathing difficult. Many doctors who treat asthma and other similar breathing problems recommend that their patients do yoga in addition to their normal pharmacological treatments as this combination helps improve the condition.
No matter what type of yoga you try, you will see a significant increase in your flexibility levels over time. This is especially true with certain types of yoga, such as Bikram yoga. This type is always done in a hot room because when your body is warm, it becomes much more flexible. Even when you leave your yoga class and go into a room with a normal temperature, you will still experience an increase in flexibility.
While some types of yoga are relaxing, others are more vigorous, such as power yoga or ashtanga. When you do these types of yoga in particular, you will begin to build up muscle tone, which in turn helps your strength. Even the types of yoga that are not as intense will build your muscle strength; they will just do so much more gradually.
Because of the increased flexibility and strength you get from practicing yoga, you develop better posture as well. In addition, you often use your core to support the various yoga poses, which gives you practice at standing “tall” in the correct posture.
When you do any sort of yoga for an extended period, you will begin to sweat. This is especially true for the more intense variations or Bikram, which as mentioned earlier, takes place in a hot room. Sweating is another way that your body is able to detox because it will clean out all the organs and glands, removing toxins. Even better, if you are looking to lose weight, sweating while doing yoga will help you burn more calories and meet your goal.
We’ve already mentioned briefly that one of the benefits of yoga is that it improves blood circulation. It does this both through the individual movements as well as the massages that are occasionally included. What we didn’t mention is that when your blood circulation improves, the digestive process does as well. When your digestive system is in top shape, your body will function as it should, making you more comfortable.