Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit work "Yug", and it means the union of an individual with his/her consciousness. Yoga is a sort of a wholesome exercise, which not only targets the body but also improves the functioning of the mind too.
Yoga has been an age-old tradition amongst many rishis or saints in the ancient times, especially during the medieval period in India.
Here are just 20 benefits of doing Yoga from the endless list of numerous benefits it has on our body! Check these out!
#1 Increases Flexibility
Improved flexibility is one of the first signs of being benefited by Yoga.
When you start doing yoga, you can barely touch your feet, but then slowly you start to touch it completely till a point when you can completely bend your neck and touch your knees. The muscles usually loosen up with repeated stretching and this helps to increase flexibility.
#2 Builds Muscle Strength
Strong muscles not only look good but also help in supporting the body firmly. They protect you from conditions like arthritis and back pain and is more beneficial for old age. Having flexibility and strength is a perfect combination that yoga provides, which is not otherwise achieved in any other exercise.
#3 Improves Your Posture
The various asanas help in the correction of the posture of the body by straightening the spine and giving a firm shape to it. Poor posture causes many health hazards like pain in the neck and back and joint problems. To avoid all this, practice yoga.
#4 Protects Your Spine
As mentioned above, yoga helps in protecting the spine by giving a firm shape to it. If you practice plenty of asanas with back bends, forward bends and twists, you'll help keep your disk supple.
#5 Improves The Bone Health
Weight-bearing exercises help to strengthen the bones and this helps to prevent osteoporosis. Many postures in yoga like the downward, upward and facing dog asanas require you to bear your own body weight and thus this helps in improving the bone health.
#6 Increases Blood Flow
Yoga will surely get your blood flowing more effectively. The relaxation exercises help in circulation, especially in your hands and legs. Inverted poses such as the headstand effectively ensure that the blood flows to every part of the body.
#7 Boosts Immunity
When you involve your muscles in expansion and contraction with various yoga postures, you increase the release of a lymph, which is mainly responsible for boosting immunity in our body and in fighting against diseases like cancer and other infections.
#8 Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be easily cured by practicing yoga for about one hour a day. The Savasana (corpse pose) helps to significantly drop your blood pressure level to 26 points (systolic blood pressure) and a 15 point in diastolic blood pressure.
#9 Regulates Your Adrenal Gland
Yoga helps in lowering the cortisol level. If your cortisol level remains high, even after the crisis, it will result in lowering of your immunity. Permanent high levels of cortisol can cause memory and brain damage. Yoga helps to relax the body and regulates the adrenal gland.
#10 Ups The Heart Rate
When you involve your body in exercises, you lower the risk of getting a heart attack and this helps relieve stress. This way, you are less prone to depression and anxiety. Yoga can significantly make the heart beat more rhythmically and regulate the blood flow to the body. It also improves your cardiovascular conditioning.
#11 Makes You Happy
Sit in a Lotus position whenever you feel sad or gloomy. Or try the King Dancer pose. Consistent yoga helps to fight away depression and other anxiety-related disorders due to the significant increase in the serotonin level. This leads to increased state of joy and happiness.
#12 Lowers Blood Sugar Level
Along with lowering of blood pressure, Yoga also helps in lowering the blood sugar level. The asanas also help to boost the good cholesterol by lowering the cortisol and adrenal levels. This leads to a decreased chance of stroke or heart attack.
#13 Improves Concentration
The most important component of yoga is to focus on the present. Regular yoga improves coordination, memory power and the ability to concentrate for a longer period of time. It also helps in increasing the IQ of a person.
#14 Improves Balance
Needless to say, the various asanas involved in yoga need you to balance your body weight and help in improving your body balance. Regularly practicing yoga helps in increasing proprioception (an ability to feel what your body is doing) and this improves balance. For elderly people, this is very beneficial, as they don't have to be dependent on anyone anymore, as yoga ensures fewer falls.
#15 Releases Tension From Your Limbs
Some unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension building up in your limbs, even without you knowing it. It will also lead to irritability and worsening of your mood. To avoid all this, practice yoga, as it helps to relieve the stress from a long day's work.
Read Also: 20 Great Stress Buster Activities At Work.
#16 Helps You Sleep Deeper
If you don't get proper sleep, it might affect the nervous system. To ensure some deep and good night's sleep, practice yoga regularly. Nidra or Savasana asanas can help in giving you the peace of mind that is required to put your mind and body to rest and giving the required energy for the next morning.
#17 Improves Breathing
Everyone must be well aware of this! Yoga helps in taking fewer but deeper breaths, which is more calming and efficient. Yoga helps in improving the lung function and regulates the amount of air to breathe for the effective functioning of the lungs.
#18 Gives You Peace Of Mind
Yoga helps to slow down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems, it reduces the chances of these diseases also.
#19 Increases Self-esteem
Many people suffer from chronic low levels of self-esteem, due to the increased competition and sedentary lifestyles. If you handle it positively by practicing yoga every day, you can see tremendous change in your self-esteem level. You will experience feelings of gratitude, empathy and forgiveness and you'll feel wholesome.
#20 Helps To Lose Weight
The best part about yoga is to not put in a lot of strenuous effort yet lose weight. It is a very healthy way to lose weight and it is very effective if you are aiming for long-term weight loss goals. It also helps you to imbibe a healthy lifestyle with a very balanced diet that will shield your overall well-being.
These are only a few benefits of yoga from the endless list and you should practice it on a daily basis, even if it is for only a few minutes!
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