Practicing yoga: What does yoga do for your body, and what other benefits does it bring?
Yoga - the ancient practice of attaining health, relaxing the body and mind, and maintaining a healthy physique, and most importantly, practicing breathing techniques that have numerous benefits. Certainly, you are curious to imagine what the benefits of yoga are or how they specifically could apply to you, and we will do exactly that; list them separately in the sections below
Yoga has many benefits - not just for the body, but the overall life quality as well...
- Relaxes the mind and removes stress
It is a widely known fact that yoga first and foremost affects the nervous system and acts as a sort of ‘physical meditation’. When you do yoga, you decrease the cortisol secretion (the stress hormone), and automatically you feel less nervous. Isn’t this an amazing and healthy way to cope with stress?
- Lessens inflammations
Usually, for most health problems, the first instinct most of us have is to reach for doctors and medicines. But, if you knew how much yoga removes inflammation effectively, you won't seek chemicals instantly! Practicing yoga means overall relaxation and improving blood flow - these factors directly affect the inflamed tissues by providing them with good blood flow and lessening the cortisol, so your body starts to feel 'rested' and soothed, and this can continue as a long term preventional benefit as well.
- Gives you glowing skin and helps in lymphatic drainage
If you engage the body in pleasant types of exercises, it will show through the skin quality too. By reducing the stress with practicing yoga, one major benefit is incredibly gorgeous and healthy-looking skin. During yoga, you stretch out the muscles well, sweat out the toxins, regulate the heart rate, thus improve the blood flow, and breathe properly, and all cells and the whole body use up oxygen and detoxify. All of this shows on the largest organ we have - the skin. It will feel softer, nurtured, less prone to breakouts, more elastic, and with less water retention and lymph stagnation. Yoga is a beauty ritual, won't you agree?
- Boosts your good mood
Surely you sometimes feel too nervous or tired to do an actual gym workout. Also, you might feel too stressed to just sit and meditate. But, you somewhat crave a combination of these two when you are doubtful of how to feel better overall and as fast as possible. Well, if you do yoga you can have the perfect blend of workout and meditation to make your mind calmer and happier. You will feel active, you will do something healthy and useful for you, and during the actual physical efforts here, you can’t help but activate your mind to find its ‘happy and mindful’ place.
- Keeps the heart and cardiovascular system healthy
It is a proven fact that practicing yoga is a major benefit for the cardiovascular system, i.e., how your heart functions and how everything from blood to the heart and in between works properly. Since yoga relaxes your body and mind, it also means that it lowers high blood pressure (because it reduces stress, of course!). When yoga reduces your blood pressure, you will also be at less risk for long-term heart damage, less risk of strokes or heart attacks, and irregular heart work will also be less of a risk due to the proper breathing while you do yoga. As you can see, not all medicines come in the shape of a chemical concoction!
- Prevents and deals with symptoms of mental disorders and illnesses
Being the natural de-stressing practice that it is, yoga brings a surprisingly excellent and proven benefit for those suffering from anxieties, depression, PTSD, and similar other disorders that keep the individual under constant feelings of unpleasantness - both physical and mental. With the proper breathing as the ones from yoga, the person suffering from mental disorders can sit calmly, move around comfortably, get in touch with one's consciousness, focus on the racing mind, or more precisely its 'organizing' and processing emotions. This type of mindfulness from yoga goes a long way in reducing the long-term symptoms of mental issues in individuals because it sets a healthy regular routine.
- Improves your posture and appearance
Yoga includes a lot of movement and different poses, stretches, postures, and flexibility practices. If you change the pose even a bit, the breathing pattern changes too, and you perfect this each time you do yoga. All those poses and stretches you will do over time will make you pain-free and more flexible, and you will automatically stand up straighter because proper standing goes hand in hand with proper breathing. These effects come 'in a chain' thanks to yoga. Just imagine trying to stand up properly straight when you are stiff, inactive, and in pain - impossible. But, not impossible anymore when you try yoga!
- Soothes pains, even chronic ones
Most of the pains are a result of modern life habits, office jobs, stiffness from daily habits, bad mattresses, and so on. But, the glimpse of hope amidst all of this is the various yoga stretches to bring your body back to a rested, soothed state of being. You surely noticed how 'cracking' some joints make you feel better, or some stretches even those that hurt a bit briefly, make you feel refreshed and in less pain afterward? Well, yoga will feel like a remedy for your spine and back, for stiff knees and joints, for the stiff neck, and basically, the whole body.
- Makes you more flexible in general
Flexibility is not something confined to strict ages or age groups. The fact is that everyone needs to be flexible, from youngsters to elder people. Flexibility prevents long-term pains and stiffness and works up the blood circulation among other beneficial things. For example, a flexible young person can engage in sports much better and 'repair' the muscles faster after strenuous workouts or busy days. Or, a flexible elder person would be in less pain which comes with old age - and it is much needed to be more flexible when we grow older.
- Reduces the severity of insomnia
When people suffer from insomnia, it can most of the time be due to too much stress over time, or not enough physical activity, even excess physical activity, and of course, overthinking and worries in most cases, if we exclude diagnosed and specific insomnia causes.
- Improves the breathing
It goes without saying, but breathing even though it is a default and of course, a basic for survival, is still done improperly by the majority of people, and this is an astonishing fact! Shallow breathing, improper inhales and exhales, and let's not mention smoking - all take their toll on the overall health and wellbeing since the body does not get enough oxygen to all cells. If you do yoga, the breathing pattern would become perfect and that would catalyze all good effects for the body and mind!
- Increases awareness for everything, including daily habits like mealtime!
As we mentioned, yoga is more than a workout, and more than breathing techniques, and even more than a meditation. It is a gorgeous blend of them all, and you can even think of it as a sure recipe for attaining total wellbeing for every aspect of yourself, whether physical or mental or both. While you activate your body and pay attention to the breathing, your focus will start to appreciate and notice everything from that point on. You will eat healthier and be more mindful of your chewing and proper meal habits - resulting in good digestion and a light physical feeling.
- Makes the muscles lean, yet growing!
Yoga will seem like a quite relaxed thing at first glance, but once you start practicing it, you will feel it all over your body! For such a soothing and relaxed practice, it will activate all of your body muscles immensely, provide amazing blood flow all over, and contribute to leaning out, yet good forming of the muscle tissues without risks of injuries or need for usage of weights. And, there are also a lot of yoga poses for weight loss that will help you get a fit body faster.
- Makes you stronger
By improving your breathing, flexibility, agility, mental state of mind and focus, increasing your self-awareness, leaning out muscles, and stretching you out in numerous poses, yoga will make you feel unbelievably energetic, full of stamina, and feeling healthier inside and out. This benefit here is the feeling that you could tackle any task, mental or physical, and feeling a sense of health and fitness boost that will apply to everything you do daily. Yoga for flexibility is also yoga for strength!
- Gives you a better life quality overall
If we do the simple math of the benefits of yoga for life in general, you can acknowledge in awe that this practice applies positively in every single aspect you can name. Starting from proper breathing, oxygen in all cells, amazing flexibility, reducing pains, much-improved eating habits, better sleep, feeling good, having gorgeous skin, lessened inflammations, better intimate life and/or sports agility, improved joints health and heart work, and even lessening symptoms of mental disorders and issues - when you blend all of this, there is no denying that the quality of life will skyrocket!
It is not enough to just say that there are many benefits of yoga. It is also not enough to even list them and elaborate on them. All is good in theory, but it is even better in practice once you discover the many amazing types of yoga. Even if you want to improve just one thing about yourself and wellbeing, yoga will do that, and add several other benefits too - you being aware of it or not.
The benefits of yoga can be your actual daily reality, and you would wish you had started it way sooner!