How Yoga Benefits Your Body and Mind

In recent years, alternative ways of exercising are gaining more and more popularity. This movement includes some types of exercise that were introduced to the wider audience through cultures that have survived for thousands of years. One of the most popular alternative ways of training that became popular is yoga.

Yoga can be described as a combination of spiritual and mental exercises, as well as physical exercise. With yoga, the benefits that your body reap are not only limited to your body. Your mind and your soul are able to find much-needed peace and serenity. Yoga’s origins go back to ancient India, where it was practised by monks who saw it as more than just an exercise for the body.

Recently, western cultures have put yoga through the eyes of science, trying to figure out how exactly yoga affects the body. What scientists found was that yoga helps the human body become healthy or recover from some injuries by alleviating the pain, aside from many other benefits.

If we are to look at the benefits of practising yoga, we will end up with a long list that has to do with both the body and mind. Some of these benefits include increased flexibility, stronger muscles, improved posture, boosting immunity, losing weight, increased blood flow, elevated heartbeat rate, protection of the spine and other bones in the body, and many others.

Increased Flexibility

When talking about the benefits of yoga, among the first benefits that come to mind is increased flexibility. After the first training session, you probably would not be able to touch your toes or perform some other little more physically demanding activity, but after some time, you will be amazed at the effect of yoga on your flexibility. 

Activities that were a problem for you in the past will become as easy as waving a hand after a certain number of yoga sessions.

Moreover, you will be very surprised with what your body can do. You will also be amazed at the disappearance of back pain and soreness of your muscles as you continue with the yoga sessions. 

One of the good consequences of the increased flexibility of your body is improved posture. The longer you keep up performing yoga, the more flexible you’ll find your body to be. There will likely be a day when you can do a yoga pose you never thought you’d be able to do. This is all because you stuck with it, and your body listened to everything yoga was helping it do.

Improved Posture

Given that one of the crucial notions in yoga is balance, the improved posture of your body is no surprise. When you start with a yoga workout, which forces you to keep your head balanced directly over the spine and a way that takes the pressure from your neck and your shoulder. 

Thus, keeping your head straight becomes easier because the weight is now distributed through the spine and not on your neck and shoulders only. In case the weight of the head is not distributed through the entire spine, your neck and shoulders are under constant pressure, which may result in neck and shoulder pain, as well as back problems. 

One of the consequences of bad posture is chronic fatigue. Improving your posture through yoga will make your body feel less tired and ready for new tasks.

Back Pain Treatment

Related to its effect on posture, yoga can also be an effective treatment for chronic back pain. In fact, studies have shown that for many people, yoga can be more effective in treating chronic back pain than standard treatment options.

Yoga helps with back pain in several ways. The stretching and relaxation that occurs as a natural side effect of yoga help the back muscles and the spine to relax, thus decreasing stress to the area. 

Yoga also enhances blood flow, which lets essential nutrients into the back and allows toxins to flow out. Finally, yoga allows for the strengthening of muscles, which provides more support to the back when spinal issues are involved.

Stronger Muscles

Although there is no heavy weight lifting or amazingly hard chin-ups, pull-ups, or other muscle-building exercises, yoga provides you with the opportunity to do exactly that – make your muscles stronger. 

Surprisingly, yoga is also one of the best ways to make your muscles leaner and stronger. If we disregard the visual effects of lean and strong muscles, the medical reasons for those types of muscle will make you want to go and work on your muscles. 

With the benefits of stronger muscles, such as protection against certain diseases like back pain or arthritis, it is no wonder that many world-famous athletes incorporate yoga into their workout regimes.

Losing Weight

Just like any other physical activity out there, yoga helps reduce your body weight. A lot of people wonder how yoga can help in that aspect, as it is surprising how much it affects body weight. 

Although it may seem that there is not a lot of physical activity for losing weight, the number of calories burned during a yoga session can be comparable to that burned during physically active workouts. Of course, having only a yoga workout is not enough to lose weight.

However, the combination of a healthy diet controlled caloric intake, and yoga workouts can do wonders for your body. Yoga may not be as effective as cross-country skiing, swimming, or running, but with it, you get something that you cannot get from any other activity from this list. What is unique about yoga is the fact that it provides you with spiritual satisfaction as well.

Increased Blood Flow and Elevated Heart Beat Rate

One of the great benefits of a yoga workout can be seen in the blood flow and heartbeat rate. Some of the relaxing exercises included in a yoga workout improve blood circulation in your body. After a yoga workout, you will feel much better because yoga enables the cells of your body to intake more oxygen, which results in improved health. 

Certain exercises, such as a headstand or handstand, enable the blood from the lower parts of your body to go through the heart and lungs, where it will get fresh oxygen and thus provide you with more energy. 

On the other hand, some yoga exercises that can be described as aerobic increase your heart rate in such a way that it can reduce the risk of heart attack, as well as help fight against depression.

Boosting Immunity

One of the main conditions for your body to stay healthy is for its immune system to be properly working. Yoga does exactly that – it boosts your immune system to a level that the body is able to fight all kinds of viruses and bacteria that are potentially dangerous. 

Given that a yoga workout includes muscle stretching and even moving your organs around, your lymph system becomes more active, and as it becomes more active, the number of immune cells in your body increases, which results in stronger immunity to certain diseases, viruses, or bacteria. 

From the medical point of view, this lymph system is in charge of fighting against all kinds of infection, as well as against certain types of cancerous cells, so why wouldn’t you want to boost the system that keeps you healthy and safe your entire life?

Improved Mental Health

It is well-established that exercise can help with depression and anxiety, among other mental health concerns, and yoga is no exception to that rule. In fact, yoga has been shown to be of benefit to individuals living with schizophrenia, depression, sleep problems, and other psychiatric conditions. 

In addition to the usual benefits of exercise, the focus on community and cooperation that takes place in yoga classes stimulates your body’s production of oxytocin and serotonin, both of which help to combat the negative symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.

Increasing Fertility and the Likelihood of Pregnancy

While the practice of yoga does not directly impact one’s fertility, the relaxing and de-stressing effect of yoga can increase the chances of conceiving by improving blood flow to the body, including the reproductive organs. In addition, it is well-known that stress can be an impediment to conceiving, so stress reduction alone could improve the situation.

Hangover Cure

While we have already talked earlier in this book about the fact that it is best to avoid alcohol if you really want to improve your fitness levels, there may be an occasion where you decide to indulge. 

If you do, yoga can help you the next day, when you wake up and are not feeling particularly well. Certain poses, such as the plough, shoulder stand, and fish, work to boost the thyroid gland’s function and improve metabolism, which will work the toxins out of your system more quickly.

Easing Asthma Symptoms

Studies have shown that the regular practice of yoga can drastically reduce asthma symptoms. This is partly because of the overall physical benefits of yoga, in that a healthier and fitter body will naturally have better lung function, but also because yoga focuses so much on breathing practice, which in itself helps to combat asthma symptoms.

Fighting Arthritis

Iyengar yoga in particular – a type of yoga that incorporates props, such as blocks, belts, and other positioning aids – has been shown to be helpful to people who are living with rheumatoid arthritis

Other types of yoga, such as Bikram, can help because the heat involved makes it easier for the body to go through the movements. If practised properly, most forms of yoga will provide some benefit to individuals experiencing arthritis, because the gentle movements can allow for individuals to practice yoga when other types of exercise may be too hard on their bodies.

Better Sleep

In addition to the general stress-reducing aspects of yoga, which can help improve your sleep patterns, there are specific yoga movements that, if done before bed, can help you fall asleep more easily. 

The forward fold, or forward bend, is one such pose: sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Inhale and lift your arms up over your head, lengthening through your torso up through the crown of your head and your fingers. While exhaling, hinge at the hips and slowly lower your torso toward your legs. 

Reach toward your ankles, feet, or toes as you are able. If you want to deepen the stretch, you can use your arms to gently pull your torso closer to your legs. Once you are in position, breathe and hold the position for 3 to 8 breaths, then slowly roll your spine back up until you are in the seated position.

Another very simple exercise is to lie on your back with your legs and feet against the wall. This basic position helps with circulation and relaxing your body.

Combating Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Some of the frustrating symptoms of multiple sclerosis include loss of coordination and muscle function. While yoga can by no means cure or prevent multiple sclerosis, it can help reduce the worsening of symptoms by improving the body’s overall function.

Dealing with PTSD

Perhaps not too surprisingly, given the other benefits discussed above, recent studies have shown that yoga may assist individuals who are living with PTSD. The improved physical and mental functions offered by yoga could provide assistance to these individuals and may be especially helpful to people who have not found success with more traditional treatments, such as psychotherapy.

As we have seen in this part about yoga, it is evident that the benefits of yoga workouts remain desirable for almost all humans. Given that yoga was used in ancient times by Buddhist monks, it is evident that the benefits of yoga overcome the body and move into the sphere of the spiritual, and we all know how important peace of mind is. 

Unlike many other activities mentioned here, yoga is far from being fast-moving, and that is exactly the point of yoga exercises. Yoga strips you of everyday worries and responsibilities and provides you with the opportunity to meditate, relax, and exercise in peace and silence and to fully devote your attention to your body and the needs of your body.

Given that there are many types of yoga, be sure to find the one type that suits you and your needs the most. Sometimes, the wrong type of exercise can do much more damage than good. Many physical activities are not recommended for people who have some heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, or arthritis. 

However, people with these kinds of problems are encouraged to take on yoga because it can help them with those problems. Even if you are pregnant, yoga is probably the best choice for you because it will help you become more relaxed and strong during the pregnancy period.

Note: Apart from doing yoga to help yourself get into shape, perhaps you might consider trying some natural supplements that support weight loss.

Resurge is one of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews.

Besides, it should be noted that pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise. Supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. 

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications, pregnant or have any health concerns.

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