Yoga is one of the most popular mind-body practices around. It’s typically described as a series of poses, or asana, that helps to increase flexibility, strength and balance. But yoga has much more to offer than just a workout. Studies have shown that doing yoga can actually help improve your health in several ways—and not just in the gym! Read on for six scientifically proven benefits of adding this ancient practice into your life.
Restoring your body’s natural flexibility
Yoga is essentially a physical approach to meditation, and it can help you restore your body’s natural flexibility. In fact, yoga has been proven to increase flexibility of the muscles and range of motion; reduce risk of injury; improve posture; increase energy levels; improve endurance (such as running or cycling); increase strength in muscles used during yoga practice; control weight gain/loss in overweight individuals; reduce stress-related pain like headaches or backaches caused by tight muscles
Varies by yoga, but it can help reduce the risk of injuries
How can yoga help you prevent injuries? As per online yoga teacher training center, the yoga is often touted as a way to strengthen your body, but it can also help you avoid injury in the first place. Yoga increases flexibility and strength, which helps prevent overuse injuries. In fact, one study found that people who practiced yoga regularly were 40% less likely to experience lower back pain than those who didn’t practice yoga. Some sports-specific benefits of yoga include:
- Increases strength and power
- Improves endurance levels (great for aerobic activities)
- Strengthens the core muscles that support the spine
- Improves balance
Reducing stress and anxiety
Yoga can help you relax and calm your mind. As per the Rishikesh Yoga center, if you’re stressed, anxious or feeling overwhelmed, yoga can help you practice breathing techniques that will encourage relaxation. Plus, the poses will get you in touch with the body’s built-in stress relievers: endorphins and oxytocin (the “love hormone”).
Yoga also opens up space in your heart (and head) to receive others’ love and support—which is another way of saying that it makes it easier for us to be present in our lives instead of worrying about things we can’t control.
Raising blood sugar levels
One of the many benefits of yoga is that it can increase your blood sugar levels, which are necessary to make the body work properly. If you’re diabetic or have high blood sugar, you should consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.
However, if you do have healthy blood sugar levels and don’t have any medical conditions that restrict your ability to exercise safely, doing hatha yoga on a regular basis can help boost them even higher.
If you’re new to yoga or haven’t done it for a long time, start with gentle stretches and breathing exercises before moving on to more difficult poses like downward dog or plank pose (as long as there’s no medical reason for not doing so). Work up slowly over time: aim for three times per week at first then gradually increase until you reach five days per week if possible—but remember that it’s better not overdo things by going too far too fast!
Decreasing physical pain
Yoga can also help you to decrease physical pain. In fact, yoga is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. If you’re feeling tense, anxious or just generally stressed out, taking a few moments to practice some yoga poses may be just what the doctor ordered for releasing those pent-up stressors. By focusing on yourself rather than outside influences, you will be able to take control of how you feel in that moment—and that’s an incredible gift!
When it comes down to it though, it’s difficult not to love practicing yoga because it makes us feel so good inside—and isn’t that what we all want? To feel good?
Enhancing concentration and focus
Yoga is a great way to relax and focus your mind. It’s also a key component of many mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, which can help you improve your concentration, focus, memory and ability to stay in the present moment. To practice yoga as an exercise for better concentration, set aside some time each day for sitting or lying down quietly with closed eyes while focusing on breathing slowly from the diaphragm (the large muscle between stomach & lungs). You’ll find that focusing on inhaling and exhaling over several minutes leads to calmness in both body and mind—and open awareness of whatever comes into consciousness during those moments helps develop a focused attention that can then be applied elsewhere!
We hope this article helped you understand why yoga can be beneficial for your health. If you’re interested in learning more about the practice, we encourage you to explore your local yoga studios and talk to people who have experience with yoga. Finding a studio that offers classes in alignment-based vinyasas will give you the best results for your body type and fitness level!