Everyone’s into yoga – your friends, neighbors, coworkers and even your parents! But unlike other mindless fads, this one actually has a lot of benefits for one’s health.
Yoga, which originated from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, means to unite or join. In yoga, the body, mind and soul unite to form a happy and balanced life. If you are thinking of joining the bandwagon, you would probably be convinced even more if you know the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of this discipline.
When it comes to physical benefits, flexibility is on top of the list. If you’ve seen people doing incredible poses during a yoga class, that’s because they learn to become more flexible over time. Yoga enables the muscles to stretch to a greater range of motion. You will feel extra flexibility in your back, shoulders, hips and hamstrings. Because of that, you will be less prone to injuries when you do chores, sports or other physical activities.
You can also expect to gain strength. Many yoga poses require extra strength for a person to sustain the weight of his/her body. For example, the tree pose which would have you balancing on one leg will make you stronger over time. So does the downward facing dog, which would have you supporting yourself with your arms. As you get stronger, your muscle mass will also increase, resulting to a leaner and more toned figure.
As your flexibility and strength increase, you will have less pain problems. If you constantly suffer from back pain from using the computer or driving a car, you can alleviate this problem with yoga. That’s because yoga can relieve tightness and spinal compression and, at the same time, improve alignment and posture.
Other physical benefits of yoga include better breathing, increased energy, improved respiration, pain relief, better cardio and circulatory health, and improved athletic performance.
The primary mental benefit of yoga is mental calmness, which is why it is often recommended for people who are suffering from stress and anxiety. People who find it hard to focus and concentrate will be able to calm their racing minds with the meditation and breathing techniques taught in yoga.
During a yoga session, you will also be able to achieve body awareness. This will increase comfort level in your body as well as help improve self-confidence. Because this activity enables your mind to relax, it teaches you how to handle difficult situations better in your life.
In terms of spiritual benefits, yoga will help you achieve “oneness” with your body, mind and soul. Although it’s non-denominational, meaning it does not adhere to a particular religious belief, yoga teaches a way of living that is based on principles of patience, respect, good health, forgiveness, gentleness, and realistic optimism.