8 Life-Changing Benefits of Yoga

8 Life-Changing Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old technique that is still widely practiced to this day. That sure says a lot about the positive effects yoga can have on your mind and body. There is a reason so many people have connected with yoga throughout the centuries. You don’t have to be a yogi to experience these benefits, but there is more to it than just inhaling positivity and exhaling negativity. 

There are many different branches of yoga, all providing the same positive benefits, just in different ways. Some forms of yoga are intense and vigorous; others are meditative and peaceful. No matter which style you choose to perform, yoga is a great way to strengthen your body, stretch overworked muscles, focus your mind, and relax your spirit. 

Physical Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can have a tremendous impact on your body, especially if performed in conjunction with regular exercise. Oftentimes, yoga is a full body workout in itself!

Increases Strength and Stability 

One yoga session targets every single muscle in your body with static holds and dynamic movement. It may seem like a relaxing way to unwind, but when you truly focus on using your muscles and balancing your body weight, yoga can really kick your butt! After just a few sessions, you’ll certainly feel a difference in your core, arms, and legs. 

Improves Flexibility

The practice of yoga is one of the best ways to stretch your muscles. When you perform a series of the same movements repeatedly, your body becomes trained to move in these positions, which drastically improves your flexibility and mobility. 

Corrects Poor Posture

By combining stability, core strengthening, flexibility, and proprioception, yoga will help correct/improve your posture. It can be fairly difficult to maintain a composed posture throughout the day since we’re constantly moving in different directions and bending at odd angles. Yoga will help you find your center and equilibrium. Better posture reduces back pain, helps you breathe easier, and increases your productivity. 

Promotes Blood Flow

The relaxation techniques you learn from yoga help promote healthy blood circulation. The breathing exercises performed also help increase the amount of oxygen to your blood cells, which function better as a result. Realistically, yoga can actually help decrease your chances of a heart attack or stroke by preventing blood clots. 

Mental Benefits of Yoga

The benefits of yoga are not purely physical. While practicing yoga is a great way to maintain your physical health, it’s also an incredibly powerful way to take care of your mental health. 

Stress Relief

Yoga is a form of relaxation. The deep breathing and mind clearing techniques associated with yoga help to lower your blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn relieves stress and anxiety. 

Improves Sleep

When you’re less stressed, you sleep better. And sleep is crucial for a healthy mind and body. Practicing yoga at night is one of the best ways to ensure a great night’s sleep, so you’ll be recharged and ready to take on the next day. 

Enhances Concentration

Practicing yoga is all about focusing on your breathing. When you focus on slowing your breath down, your mind will follow suit. This helps you to clear your mind in order to train your brain to focus on one thing at a time, which will help to improve your overall concentration.

Emotional Release

Yoga can be a very cathartic experience, allowing you to address certain emotions you may have kept locked inside. Pent up emotions and frustrations need to be dealt with or else they’ll come back to haunt you. Your mat is a safe space; it’s a judgement-free zone where you can deal with your feelings however you deem best. 

Don’t be intimidated to try yoga if you never have before. It may be a little challenging at first, but all it takes is a bit of practice before your body starts to become more flexible. The yoga community is one of the most welcoming and friendly out there. Countless yoga instructors and enthusiasts are willing to help you out and answer any questions you might have along your journey. 

Do yourself a favor and try it out. If you don’t enjoy it, at least you can say you tried. But if you do, you’ll slowly begin to see a positive shift in your life. Open yourself up to the perks of yoga to become one with your mind and body, change your overall attitude and perspective, and give your body the relaxation it deserves. Namaste! 

By: Sydney Daly-Weber

Holly MacKinnon