For many people modern life can be stressful, there is always so much to do, so much to consider and in the age of digital, Information overload.
With so much going on in our lives why would we want to try and squeeze yet one more thing into an already hectic schedule?
What if that one new thing could actually help ease the stresses of modern life and actually make life feel less hectic.
In this post we take a look at the three main benefits of Yoga and how maybe, just maybe it’s worth effort of fitting in just one more thing.
Benefit Number One: Physical Health
With so much going on in our lives it’s easy for our physical health to take a back seat. There’s always tomorrow right? For many, getting in shape is one of those things that sits permanently on the ‘to do list’. Before you know it, days become months, months can become years.
Heading to the gym for an intense workout isn’t for everyone, and for many the thought of running miles couldn’t sound less fun if it tried.
With all the images we are bombarded with on TV, social media and magazines it’s easy to believe that if you aren’t pumping weights or running a marathon then you aren’t getting fit. Because of this many people simply give up thinking being fit just isn’t for them.
Yoga however, is a great way to get fit. Because yoga is based on low impact exercises, anyone can enjoy it no matter how out of they are. Because of this it’s probably one of the easiest forms of exercise to take up, even if you haven’t exercised for years.
If you keep at it you will lose weight and actually end up very toned and looking like you had been hitting the gym/putting in the miles running.
The physical benefits of yoga are not just for looks, Yoga is a great way of releasing tension and stress. Spending too much of the day sitting down (for work or pleasure) as so many of us do, creates blockages around the body. This means that many of our vital organs do not get the full amount of oxygen and nutrients that they need to function at peak efficiency.
Yoga stretches different muscles groups in certain ways that will lead to these blockages being released and the blood flow bringing the bodies organs all the oxygen and nutrients they need.
All of this means Yoga’s health benefits are both short and long term.
In the short term blood flow is increased and the body functions better because it is achieving the nutrients it requires. Tension is also released from muscles and the bodies lymphatic system is able to more effectively deal with waste products.
In the longer term these will be ongoing benefits and the digestive system will also function more efficiently, which has many health benefits. balance, co-ordination and flexibility will be greatly improved, so will muscle tone.
Benefit Number Two: Mental Health
All exercise has a positive effect on your sense of wellbeing and general mental health, however yoga can claim the crown given it’s origins in meditation.
A great example of this is the focus on breathing in yoga. We all know how important it is to breath, after all if you don’t breath, you die.
Given how important it is, it’s kind of crazy how little effort most of us have ever put into really considering this and learning to breathe well.
Yoga sessions will usually begin with a standing, breathing exercise. The simple process of taking in a deep breath and releasing it slowly is incredibly calming and the basis of the breathing exercises that are one of the key foundations to the Yoga discipline.
The key to this breathing is that it draws our attention to the one simple action of breathing. We become very aware of the life giving benefit of a deep and controlled breathing cycle and are able to achieve a level of calmness that we often don’t experience in our everyday lives. That calmness becomes a stepping-stone to achieving focus.
There is always so much going on around us and so much that needs to be done that it is difficult to focus on the single task we are doing because of the multitude of things. Yoga teaches techniques to quickly clear the mind of all these other distractions and then focus our mental efforts on a single task.
The self-discipline that is learned from focusing on the body and becoming master of oneself is a key benefit of Yoga and can affect everything you do for the better.
Benefit Number Three: Happiness
Happiness is a goal that is often sacrificed in the short term in exchange for some mystical point in the future when everything will come together and be okay.
Yoga doesn’t move you any closer to that mystical time, but because you develop such a strong sense of self and connection with yourself, you’ll find yourself just at ease with your life.
You will find that the more you practice Yoga the more you will be comfortable spending time alone as well as with other people.
Your sense of self worth will increase and you will perform better in social situations. This is perhaps the most important gift that Yoga will give to you.
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