The comfort of yoga provides both immediate satisfaction and lasting transformation. In the fitness world, both are exceptionally important. Excessive workout time with too few results can be incredibly depressing, and boring routines week after week can lead to stagnation. Yoga can change your physical and mental capacity quickly while preparing the mind and body for long-term health.
Strength Training and Flexibility
Yoga’s focus on strength training and flexibility is an incredible benefit to your body. The postures are meant to strengthen your body from the inside out, so you don’t just look good, but you feel good, too. Each of the yoga poses build to increase the muscles around the spine and the very center of your body, which is the core from which everything else operates. When the core is working properly, posture is improved and relieves back shoulder, and neck pain.
Improved Brain Function
Just 20 minutes of Hatha yoga, an ancient form of the practice that emphasizes physical postures rather than flow or sequences, can improve cognitive function, boosting focus, and working memory. Participants performed significantly better on tests of brain functioning after yoga, as compared to their performance after 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise.
It Can Help You Eat Better
Research shows that people who regularly practice yoga eat more mindfully, compared to other exercises. Yoga encourages you to focus on your breathing and the sensations in your body. This trains your brain to notice what's happening to your body, helping you pay more attention to sensations of hunger and satiety. This means no more emotional eating, stuffing yourself in a silly way, and food-related guilt.
Most people underestimate just how essential good posture is to preserve a healthy lifestyle. When you have a good posture, your bones, muscles, and joints are in proper alignment and can work as nature intended them to. It also ensures that your organs are in proper alignment and can work as efficiently as possible. Good posture affects every system in your body including the digestive, muscular, skeletal, circulatory, and nervous system.
Find yourself out of breath far too often? Due to the deep, mindful breathing that is necessary for yoga, you can strengthen your lung capacity, as well as your endurance. This can be incredibly helpful for running enthusiasts and those looking to increase their athletic performance.
Yoga can help you find a sense of calm that is unfortunately far too common in our hectic day-to-day life. Many styles of yoga use certain meditation techniques that can help mute the mind chatter that is often the root of anxiety and stress. Deep breathing also pushes you to focus on your breath and clear your mind, which can bring a much-needed sense of calmness and serenity.
Aids in Weight loss
Many people believe that yoga is about meditation, deep breathing, and a little light stretching. While this is true, there is also SO much more to yoga. It can be an incredibly powerful weight loss tool when applied correctly. Many people believe that they must run for miles on end every day to see a drop on the scale. This couldn’t be further from the truth because long distance running has actually been scientifically proven to RAISE cortisol levels in the body.
Yoga will also depend on the type of mat you use. You may have a mat that you use specifically for your home practice and another for the studio. At the end of the day, you want a high-quality yoga mat to leave you feeling rejuvenated in both the body and mind. Yoga mats do promote safety and cushioning from hardwood floors.