What are the True Benefits of Yoga?Due to its numerous health and mental benefits, yoga is becoming more and more popular these days. It’s practiced equally among men and women, and even children are encouraged to practice it since it can significantly impact their development, posture and condition. Even though practically anyone can do it, yoga is especially convenient for women because it can help them feel better during periods, menopause, and even pregnancy. Every yoga type is beneficial in its own way, and the best thing about it is that it can be done anywhere – at home, at the beach, in nature, and you can practice it with your pet. This article will present you the most prominent benefits of yoga, which will motivate you to start doing it right now!
Health Benefits of YogaAs soon as you start practicing yoga, you'll begin to feel improvements regarding your health condition. Women who haven’t done any sports or physical activities before always assume that they can’t do yoga since it looks difficult and many poses seem impossible. That’s a common misconception, and that leads us to the first of many yoga health benefits:
1. Improved FlexibilityYour first yoga class may seem challenging because you might not be able to touch your toes, but that’s completely normal. As you start practicing it more often, you’ll notice that every movement becomes more seamless, and even the postures that you didn’t think you could do suddenly become possible. By practicing flexibility, all the aches and pains will gradually disappear, and you’ll start to feel better instantly. Besides, your posture and muscle strength will be significantly improved.
2. Healthy SpineThe spine is a column of the entire body, which is why it is essential to keep it healthy. Again, yoga can help it! Regular exercise will make your spinal disks suppler, and if you pay attention to asanas that include backbends, forward bends and twists, you can be sure that you're providing your spine with a significant dose of "nutrients."
3. Boosted ImmunitySometimes it’s not enough to eat healthy food and take vitamins in order to boost immunity and avoid catching a cold, especially during the winter. Not all the women are equally resistant to allergies, bacteria and viruses, which is why it is vital to include physical activity to everyday life. When you come in and out of yoga postures, you contract and stretch your muscles, and you move your organs around, which significantly improves cellular functioning and helps the lymphatic system fight infections and destroy malignant cells.
4. Better Heart RateOne of the major benefits of doing yoga is improved heart rate, as well as heart health in general. If you are a fan of aerobic exercises, you can opt for Ashtanga yoga classes since they include the postures that will boost your heart rate into the aerobic range. Other yoga types can also impact heart health in terms of lowering so-called "bad" cholesterol and blood pressure, which are among the most common causes of heart attack and stroke.
5. Weight LossMany women are concerned about whether yoga can impact weight loss. The truth is that yoga can’t burn as many calories as a cardio workout, for example, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t lose weight by practicing it. Unlike other types of exercises that are aimed at weight loss, yoga will encourage you to change some bad habits and start maintaining a much healthier lifestyle. Effective stress management, increased body awareness, mindfulness and mindful eating are just a small part of the benefits of yoga for weight loss that will motivate you to follow your dreams and actualize your goals. These are just some of the physical benefits of yoga that can help you improve your immune system, get rid of the pain and gain more strength. Besides, women who suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes are encouraged to include yoga asanas to their routine, since they help lowering blood sugar, cortisol and adrenaline levels.
Mental Benefits of YogaApart from playing a significant role in improving health condition, yoga is also known for its spiritual benefits. People who used to deal with stress, anxiety and depression started to feel much better after dedicating some time to yoga practice, and besides it improves your mood and energy, it can also help you enhance other spheres of your inner self.
1. Helps You Build Your Inner StrengthThe entire concept of yoga is built upon the idea of finding your inner self. We are mostly not aware of the energy and strength we all have, and yoga can help us reveal it and focus on its building. By focusing on your inner self, you can get rid of the habits that used to make you feel insecure, moody and unsatisfied. Instead of waking up tired and unwilling to start a new day, you'll be ready to make an effort to change things, eat healthier, exercise more, and focus on things that make you happy.
2. Enhances Your Self-EsteemLow self-esteem is quite present among men and women nowadays, and it can be quite an obstacle when it comes to achieving particular goals. We can wear the most elegant outfit that suits us perfectly, but if we don’t feel confident in our skin, our beauty and shine can’t be expressed in the best way. Still, if we take a positive approach and practice yoga, we can achieve the inner transformation that will impact our self-esteem and confidence. Yoga will teach you how to experience feelings of gratitude, empathy and forgiveness, which will provide you with a sense of being a part of something bigger.
3. Encourages You to Take Care of YourselfSelf-care can be perceived as one of the mental and health benefits of yoga. Taking good care of yourself is essential for maintaining both mental and physical health. The more you commit to yoga practice, the more you benefit, and the positive changes will be noticeable pretty soon. As soon as you start perceiving the changes, you’ll get more motivated to continue providing yourself with energy, positive thoughts and good care.
4. Helps You Become Compassionate and Ready to Help OthersConnections with other people are crucial for our own development and social life. Most people are not ready to share their thoughts or understand the problems the others are dealing with, which often leads to social anxiety that can become a huge difficulty that impacts all the life spheres. Karma yoga, for example, helps you focus on the causes and effects of an individual’s actions, and it teaches you how to provide others with your selfless service. That way, you’ll become more compassionate and ready to help others without expecting a reward, which will considerably impact your spiritual development.
5. Benefits Your Relationship with Other PeopleIn addition to the previous yoga benefit, this one also shows how significant the impact of yoga is on building relationships with other people. No matter if it's about family, friends, community, or something else, love is essential for any human being. Regular yoga practice helps developing friendliness, empathy and willingness to open to someone, which can be seen as a base of love concept.
Is Yoga Good for You?We can agree that yoga can make improvements in our lives, no matter what type of asanas we perform. Yoga is quite versatile, which makes it convenient for everyone since we all prefer different things when it comes to exercise. There are various types of yoga, but the truth is that some of them are more popular than the others. That said, we are going to present you health and mental benefits of yoga styles that are among the most common ones, and if you have never practiced them before, now is the time!
1. Benefits of Hot YogaHot yoga, similar to Bikram yoga, is an excellent choice for those who love doing exercises in heated space. Hot yoga includes almost all of the mentioned benefits, including flexibility, improved heart rate, mindfulness and weight loss. In addition to these essential advantages, hot yoga will also give you glowing skin and body detoxification. Since it’s practiced in a room where the average temperature is from 80 to 100 degrees, your body will release all the toxins, chemicals and other unwanted compounds that may cause water retention and that shouldn’t be in your body.
The benefits of Bikram yoga could be the same since the main difference between it and Hot yoga lies in the series of postures that are strictly set in Bikram style (the same 26 poses that are practiced at the same sequence every time). Since Bikram yoga includes more disciplined behavior and more serious atmosphere, its benefit could be learning how to respect someone’s time and schedule, as well as improving working discipline which can be applied to other important things in your life.
2. Benefits of Yin YogaIf you think that you have a lack of energy or if you find yourself overenergized, the yoga class you should try is Yin yoga. Unlike Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga that are aimed at so-called “superficial” muscles, Yin yoga’s main target is strengthening the deep connective tissues of the body, including ligaments, joints, bones and fasciae.
Yin yoga helps you achieve a balanced energy flow, helps your body restore range of motion, revitalizes the tissue of the body, and gives you the opportunity to find your inner self and discover the root of your emotions. This type of yoga also helps us trigger the parasympathetic nervous system and learn how to control our stress level, blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, immune functions, hormones, etc.
3. Benefits of Prenatal YogaPregnancy may be the greatest period of woman's life, but it still brings some inconveniences that not all women can handle in the same way. Even though exercises during pregnancy may seem impossible, the truth is that they can be beneficial in many ways. Prenatal yoga is one of the most common physical activities for mamas-to-be since it empowers women and prepares them for their role as a mother. Besides, it helps them make a connection with a baby, which is a step forward to learning how to be present for both themselves and their baby during pregnancy. By practicing prenatal yoga, your delivery will be easier, you’ll meet new friends at classes, you’ll get rid of pains and aches, and you’ll lose baby weight much faster.
Still, it’s not recommended to practice prenatal yoga on your own since it can be risky. Consult your doctor or yoga instructor before you start with classes, especially if you’re at risk of premature labor when prenatal yoga is not recommended. Generally speaking, yoga is good for you. Besides it enhances the connection between mind and body, it makes you gain more confidence and feel good in your skin. Still, if you have never practiced it before, don’t do it on your own. It’s better to consult a yoga teacher since even the simplest wrong move can cause severe injuries. Also, if you suffer from any chronic disease (chronic back pain or spine issues), consult a doctor before starting with classes – although yoga can help you solve such problems, you shouldn't risk.