You may have noticed an increase in yoga-specific apparel in recent years, or you have seen the exercise gracing the schedule in your local gym. By now, you have probably realized that it isn’t just some fitness fad but, what’s all the fuss about yoga? From physical health to mental wellbeing, this low-impact exercise provides a plethora of benefits to those who practice it. Here is a short guide to yoga and how it can improve your wellbeing.
Table of Contents
What Exactly is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India around 5,000 years ago. Since then, yoga has been adopted in other countries, and today you will find it as a staple exercise in many fitness centers and gyms. This low-impact exercise is made up of a series of postures, and it focuses on controlled breathing, core strength, and flexibility. When practiced correctly, it can improve physical and mental wellbeing.
Why Do I Need to Practice Yoga?
The bare essentials required for practicing yoga are simply yourself and a quiet space that can accommodate various postures. However, you can make the practice more comfortable with a good quality yoga mat, a comfortable top layer, and stretchy pants. There are also yoga accessories, such as blocks and straps that can complement your practice.
Physical Health Benefits
Yoga has many acclaimed health benefits. Although some claims still require further study, there is scientific evidence that yoga can make a big difference to your flexibility and balance and improve your quality of life. In fact, one study suggests that yoga can even decrease symptoms of chemotherapy. Other advantages include increased muscle strength, good weight management, and overall improved fitness. Furthermore, regular yoga practice is especially beneficial for people who experience aches and pains and for those with heart disease and high blood pressure.
Mental Health Benefits
One of the primary focuses of yoga is breathing. By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into this ancient practice, yogis can take advantage of the mental benefits. By controlling your breathing, you can enhance lung function and calm the nervous system. Yoga can also be used as a tool to stay mentally well, and regular practice has been proven to reduce stress. Research shows that cortisol levels, the primary hormone in stress, can decrease when practicing yoga. Reducing stress can have a knock-on effect on your sleep patterns, black and neck pain, headaches, and concentration.
Fantastic for All Abilities
One of the best things about yoga is the fact that it is incredibly accessible. Yoga is ideal for all ages, and there are many different types of yoga to participate in. From baby yoga with your little one to chair yoga for less mobile people. You are never too young or too old for yoga. Not to mention, yoga is an efficient exercise for people who are new to physical activity. It causes very little stress to the joints, and it can strengthen the entire body in a gentle way.