eople often turn to Yoga for health and the preventative and therapeutic benefits it offers. The body and mind can be renewed by the stretching and deep breathing involved without having to risk injuries or to exacerbate an existing illness.
Here are a few of the incredible benefits that Yoga offers:
A misconception that people have about Yoga is that you have to be flexible to practice it. That’s not completely true – your muscles and joints will improve by leaps and bounds when you practice Yoga for health, that means that even people who are not flexible can practice yoga, and will get more flexible the more they practice it.
You may have certain areas of the body that you’d like to be more flexible, and there are certain poses that address specific body areas you have in mind. If you’re in a job where you sit too much or where certain muscles become taut, Yoga can target those groups of muscles and stretch them out.
If you think that only weight training can build muscles, you’re wrong. Yoga can help strengthen and build muscles by positioning your body in positions that make you support your muscles.
Rodney Yee, renowned Yoga expert and trainer says, “People always ask me, ‘Don’t you lift weights?’ and I say, ‘Yes, I lift my own body weight!” Yoga sculpts your muscles without trying. The toning and strengthening is a natural outcome of practicing Yoga.
Ease Back Pain
Dealing with back pain can be excruciating and incapacitating. The exercises of Yoga can help in a natural way and give you the relief you need. Many of us sit most of the day, which weakens the back and opens it up to injuries.
Restorative Yoga poses can counteract the damage that a sedentary life brings and make a big difference in the quality of your life. Beginner Yoga poses that are great to relieve back pain are Cat/Cow, Downward Dog and Spinal Twist.
Here’s a video from Adriene showing how to do the Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose:
The muscle and skeletal system of our bodies work in unison so that we can move easily and function properly. Some muscles work without practice, such as blinking our eyes, while others require exercising to work properly.
The simple, but restorative stretching exercises and poses of Yoga help the muscular/skeletal system receive the oxygen and nutrients they need by helping the blood flow. Practicing Yoga keeps us moving fluidly and gracefully.
To maintain proper spine alignment you need to have flexibility and balance. Yoga can help the spine by helping develop the flexibility and balance you need to keep the spine straight and to strengthen it.
If your spine isn’t aligned properly, you could suffer from back pain and lack of motion. A few Yoga stretches such as Seated Twist and the Bridge Pose will help to keep your spine aligned properly and to improve your range of motion.
Here’s a video from Adriene demonstrating the reclined twist yoga pose. It’s great for yoga beginners as a foundation yoga exercise.
Digestion and Elimination
Two important elements that can make or break your immune system, proper digestion and elimination, can be improved by practicing Yoga on a regular basis.
Many Yoga poses are perfect to relieve cramping and bloating and to stimulate the intestinal tract that leads to better elimination. Yoga poses such as Cobra and the Bent Elbow Spinal Twist can also increase the blood flow to your intestinal tract, calming the system and helping it operate more efficiently.
Here’s a demonstration of the Yoga Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) by zoyayoga. It’s a fundamental yoga pose that stimulates the digestive and reproductive systems, strengthens the lungs and opens the heart. Please don’t do it if you have a back injury, ulcers, hernia, or are pregnant.
Boosts Immune System
Priming your immune system for better health is important to fend off colds and flu and other, more serious diseases. Yoga can boost your immune system by increasing circulation of the lymph – a clear fluid that helps to eliminate bacteria and viruses.
Yoga poses such as the Balasana (Child’s Pose) and Downward-Facing Dog can greatly benefit the immune system and are easy to learn.
All of the physical benefits of practicing Yoga have yet to be determined, but studies have concluded that every aspect of your health and body can be improved by practicing the art of Yoga on a regular basis. Please check out our Yoga Section on this website for regular updates.