Yoga was first developed over 5,000 years ago in northern India. In the many centuries since then, yoga has been refined and adapted so that it would work well for every person of every shape and size. Its purpose is to bring wellness to the entire community.
Now modern science has come along with MRIs and other testing devices. Researchers have confirmed with study after study that yoga brings wonderful health benefits to just about every aspect of a person’s health.
Here are the top ten benefits of adding yoga into your weekly routine.
1. Yoga Builds Flexibility
This is probably one of the more obvious of yoga’s health benefits. Most promotions of yoga involve a slender young woman twisting herself into an interesting pretzel shape. You don’t need to be that extreme in order to get the flexibility benefits, though. Even the simpler poses help to stretch the hamstrings, back, neck, and other parts of you that need regular motion. That helps to ensure that you don’t injure yourself as you go about life’s tasks.
2. Yoga Improves Strength
You don’t necessarily want to be a bodybuilder. That’s all right. Human bodies need a reasonable amount of strength simply to go about their daily lives. There are groceries to heft, trash to take out to the curb, laundry to manage, and more. The more we can develop that core level of muscle, the safer we will be as we go about our duties in life. Yoga provides wonderful strength-building activities for all levels.
3.Yoga Enhances Balance
We can sometimes underestimate the importance of balance. But when you’re walking down stairs while juggling something in your arms, or stepping over a slippery curb, maintaining a safe balance can suddenly become very important. Slips and falls are a key reason for injuries in older people. Even just a few simple yoga poses each day can help build that important skill.
4. Yoga Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety often represents a fear of something which might happen. Yoga helps to develop a calm mindset that the future is unknowable and will come in its own time. Our job as human beings is to be ready, as best we can, to handle what life presents. A regular yoga practice helps to lessen feelings of anxiety and fear.
5. Yoga Improves Sleep
Sleep can be disrupted for all sorts of reasons – trouble breathing, aches and pains, nervous concerns, and the body being unbalanced. Yoga helps with all of these issues. It allows the body to gently use up its energy so it is ready for a deep, nourishing sleep. Yoga helps you to fall asleep more quickly and to stay asleep for a longer, deeper time period.
6. Yoga Improves Focus and Concentration
Many yoga poses involve aligning yourself just right so the weight and balance match. Then once you’re in position you focus on holding that pose for a set length of time. Doing these types of activities with regularly frequency builds up the brain’s ability to focus and concentrate on tasks. This then serves you well for anything else you do during the week.
7. Yoga Strengthens your Immune System
Unless we live in a mountaintop retreat, we’re all regularly exposed to colds, viruses, and germs. The stronger our immune system, the better able we are to fight off those problems and stay healthy. Keeping our immune system nice and strong is the key to success. Yoga helps to build and strengthen that immune system.
8. Yoga Reduces Perceived Pain
Aches and pains are a part of life. Sometimes they’re short-term and mild, like when we stub a toe on the stairs. Sometimes they’re much longer term and more serious. Yoga has been shown in numerous studies to help with perceptions of pain. This can then lead to better healing and lower levels of stress.
9. Yoga Balances our Metabolism
Many different things can throw our metabolism out of whack. Poor sleep cycles. Anxiety and stress. Depression. Lack of exercise. Yoga helps with all of these issues. With a regular yoga practice, our metabolism becomes far healthier. If we’re aiming to lose weight, yoga helps to make that possible.
10. Yoga Improves Breathing
Many of the yoga poses are tied with breathing to specific moves. You arch your back, you breathe in. You lower your back, you breathe out. Breathing is a strong, integral part of the yoga routines. Through regular practice of yoga, the lungs strengthen and the air passages clear. This can help with asthma, allergies, and many other breathing problems.
Yoga has been tweaked and adjusted for thousands of years to provide the very best of health and wellness to people of all ages and situations. From the youngest children to the oldest seniors, every person can benefit from the many blessings yoga brings.