“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” ― The Bhagavad Gita
Yoga, an ancient practice that dates back to 5,000 years ago, is still a popular way to relax your mind, body, and soul. Derived from the Sanskrit word, Yuji, which means union or yoke, yoga is practiced to bring together mind and body.
From a downward-facing dog to a child’s pose, every pose and asana is believed to have its own significance and benefits. Although not all these benefits are backed by science, yoga practitioners all around the world advocate the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of practicing yoga and meditation. From helping you sleep better to improving your cardiovascular health, here, we will dive into 7 major benefits of practicing yoga.
Increases Strength, Flexibility, and Balance
Many people incorporate yoga in their fitness routine to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. When was the last time you wanted to touch your toes without bending your knees? Practicing yoga every day can help you become flexible as well as strong and have a proper balance over your body. Practicing complex asanas with deep breathing increases your blood flow and warm up the muscles while holding those asanas can help you build strength and maintain balance.
Any movement while exercising helps to increase the blood flow within the body. Yoga comprises plenteous complex asanas with a lot of stretching, twisting, and inversions. Stretching the muscle helps bring more oxygen to the cells. Twisting exercise delivers fresh oxygenated blood to the organs. Inversions help venous blood from the lower part of the body to flow back to the heart, which can be pumped back to the lungs for oxygenation.
Yoga helps you maintain your body's vivacity while also keeping it fit. It encourages you to eat healthily and enhances your body's metabolic system. Certain yoga asanas increase the oxygen flow in the body that speeds up metabolism, allowing your body to burn fats, and aid weight loss. Furthermore, by stretching, compressing, and twisting the body, the yoga poses are aimed to burn fat cells.
Have you experienced intense pain in your back and neck after you get off your working chair? Poor posture can strain the neck and spine causing muscle and joint problems. As you slouch, your body tries to adjust your posture by flattening the natural inward curves in your neck and lower back. As a result, you develop intense pain. While practicing most standing and sitting asanas, you need your core to support your muscles to hold each pose. Using your core helps you stand “tall” and improves your overall posture.
Reduce Chronic Pain
Yoga can help you feel better. Asana, meditation, or a combination of both have proven pain-relieving capabilities. According to multiple studies, practicing yoga reduced pain in people with back pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic diseases. When you’re free from pain, you tend to be more happy and active.
According to Patanjali’sYoga Sutra, yoga quells the fluctuations of the mind. This simply means that practicing yoga helps calm down the pace of the active mind and mental loops of anger, frustrations, and negativity. Savasana pose, which is also known as Corpse pose in yoga is believed to support stress management, mindfulness, healthy eating, mental health, and quality sleep.
Yoga can help you retreat from the hustle and bustle of busy and modern life. Plenteous asanas like yoga nidra, savasana, restorative poses, pranayama, et cetera are believed to take you to a deeper slumber and help you rest your mind and body. Practicing a nighttime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset to prepare your body and mind to rest well and fall asleep faster as well as deeper.
Yoga is an ancient art performed for thousands of years to reap the benefit of a trained and peaceful mind and body. As B.K.S Iyengar said, “Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame”. To experience the miraculous benefits of practicing yoga, you need to have patience, determination, and you should believe in yourself.