Yoga, which began as an ascetic tradition on the subcontinent of India, is a rapidly expanding art form in many different parts of the world today. Here are five potential benefits of engaging in yoga and how they may impact your daily life outside the studio.
1. Improving Or Maintaining Your Flexibility
This benefit of yoga is pretty straightforward. Because yoga requires you to bend your body into poses that may not come naturally to you, you will notice a gradual but steady increase in your flexibility. If you are already quite flexible, then taking up yoga will allow you to maintain your body’s pliability as you age.
2. Better Stress Management
Today’s digital, fast-paced world makes it hard not to feel overwhelmed. Practicing yoga can decrease your body’s production of hormones that cause stress, allowing your mind and body to relax. Many yoga practitioners like Gale Tobin find yoga to be an incredibly effective way of reducing and controlling stress in the long term when combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, indicating that these effects last far longer than one session.
3. Healthier Sleeping Habits
Studies have shown that engaging in regular yoga sessions can profoundly impact your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. And yoga has also been found to improve the overall sleep quality of practitioners. It is likely that yoga’s soporific properties are related to its ability to decrease stress hormones in the body, but more research into the relationship between yoga and sleep is required.
4. Decreased Depression & Anxiety
While yoga is not a cure for mental illness, research suggests that it may be a powerful form of therapy for people with depressive and anxiety disorders when supplemented with conventional types of treatment. The exact reason why yoga is so effective to this end remains unclear, but it is believed that yoga’s calming effects on the brain and body play a key role in its restorative powers.
5. Increased Concentration
Practicing yoga demands a great deal of concentration, especially if you are a beginner. The combination of movement and breath control compels your body and mind to focus on the moment, making it harder for intrusive thoughts and other distractions to divert your attention. Yoga’s tendency to assist in stress hormone regulation also helps to keep errant thoughts at bay while you practice.
Yoga has helped many people take care of their mental and physical health. If you are still deciding whether or not you would like to begin practicing yoga, keep these benefits in mind and consider how they may affect your way of life.