For thousands of years, people around the world have experienced the benefits of yoga. In the last 50 years, yoga practices have evolved slightly and the western world is now relishing in the benefits just as the Indian culture has always done. Yoga is now being seen as more than just an alternative way to stretch and relax. Many doctors are also seeing how yoga can benefit nearly everyone in one way or another.
Importance of Proper Postures
One of the secrets to enjoying the benefits of yoga is to master the proper postures. Each and every yoga pose is interrelated. How you move from one to the other and how you properly hold each posture allows certain parts of the body to react to and stimulate other parts. This non-strenuous method of movement awakens each part and allows various parts of the body to work fluidly together. Some poses stimulate gland functions, including regulating thyroid functions, and hormones. Some yoga postures also work to literally massage the internal organs. Doing the postures correctly is the key to garnering all of the benefits of yoga.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
One of the obvious physical benefits you will undoubtedly notice once you begin a regular yoga routine is the increased amount of flexibility and strength of your body. Many postures lead to an increase in the lubrication of the joints, tendons and ligaments. This allows you to naturally stretch farther without straining. An increase in strength and flexibility helps to guard you against future injury whether it is through sports or daily life. Soon you will notice that a posture you could not complete or hold for more than a few seconds will be much easier to accomplish the next time you try. This increase will make you feel more aware of your body movements and functions.
This freedom of flexibility will lead to better posture overall as one of the benefits of yoga. Better posture has a ripple effect on the entire body. You appear slimmer when you have proper posture. Your abdominal muscles work better and your breathing becomes more even and deeper which increases your oxygen level, thereby increasing energy and alertness and naturally leading to mental clarity. A seemingly simple positive change like improved posture really leads to a whole list of unexpected benefits.
The internal benefits of yoga are as major as the external. Your respiratory system functions more efficiently. As you do yoga, your blood pressure will decrease to optimal levels, which leads to overall better cardiovascular health. As your oxygen level reaches optimal levels and your heart is able to function fully, you will notice you sleep better. Better sleep means more improved mental functioning, like memory. Yoga is also helpful in combating pain. When you are doing yoga, you release endorphins which help relieve pain.
The sweat you work up is also one of the many benefits of yoga. The sweat is actually your body’s way of flushing out toxins. All of the built up toxic chemicals and substances that are in your system impair proper functioning in one way or another. By sweating them out, you make more room for oxygen in your blood and can replenish fluids with clean and fresh water.
The Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
When all of the physical benefits align, you will notice a much healthier you – mentally and spiritually. You will begin to incorporate balance into your life. Your new found mental clarity will guide you in being calmer and more accepting of daily life stresses. Yoga has been shown to improve anxiety and decrease depression. It simply makes you look and feel happier, healthier and more balanced in every aspect of your life.