Benefits of Yoga

Hi all! I hope you are out and about enjoying the lovely weather! My laptop is behaving today so I am able to draft something useful about yoga for you… for when you are back from the beach!

Today, it’s all about the benefits of yoga. Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years. Hence it is deeply rooted in tradition but it is also scientifically proven to improve and maintain overall health. Below are the main 9 benefits.

1) More flexibility: moving and stretching in new ways will help you become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to tight areas. As we age, our flexibility decreases, especially if we spend a lot of time sitting. Yoga can help reverse this process. Increased flexibility and strength can also help prevent the causes of some types of back pain.

2) Muscle strength: some yoga poses like the plank and chair’s pose will help you build muscle strength. If done correctly, nearly all poses build core strength (abdominal muscles/Uddiyana bandha). As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles in your legs, arms, back, and abdomen.

3) Improved posture: as you gain more core strength, you are more likely to sit and stand “tall.” Yoga also helps your body awareness which means you are likely to notice if you’re slouching or slumping, so you can adjust your posture.

4) Better Balance: Improved balance is one of the most important benefits of yoga as we get older. Poses where you stand on one leg and, for more advanced students, inversions, are great ways to build the core strength that keeps you upright.

5) Better breathing: yoga usually involves paying attention to your breath, which can help you relax. Specific breathing techniques also known as pranayama (mindful breathing technique) will expand your lung capacity, regulate and prolong your breathing and help you circulate more fresh oxygen in the bloodstream.

6) Good for your heart: Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure or heart disease, and people who’ve had a stroke.

7) Better immune system: Yoga has also been linked to lower cholesterol and improve immune system function. The overall benefits of yoga mean that you are better equipped to fight off common viruses.

8) Detoxification: because yoga helps the body to absorb more oxygen in the body and remove toxins through sweating (especially vinyasa flow during sun salutations), detoxification occurs naturally in the body.

9) Less stress, more calm: You may feel less stressed and more relaxed after doing some yoga. Some yoga styles use meditation techniques that help calm the mind. Focusing on your breathing during yoga also helps the mind and body to relax.

I hope you find this helpful. As ever, comments and questions are welcome! Have a great week and hope to see you on Tuesday at 8am.

Namaste

Sossi Yohannes

First posted: 7 October 2018, Facebook Group