Before we get into the benefits of Yoga, it is essential to understand what exactly Yoga really is. Yoga is not a religion, it’s a way of living that aims towards a healthy mind in a healthy body. Man is a physical, mental and spiritual being; Yoga helps in developing the balance between all the three as stated in Ayurveda in India. Other forms of exercise, like aerobics, only assure physical well being. These exercises have very little to do with the improvement of spiritual or astral body.
Yoga as a practice has innumerable benefits that positively affect an individual both physically and mentally. During this ongoing coronavirus pandemic, when we are all bound to live a restricted life under the constant fear of infection risks, it is natural for anyone to develop anxiety. The continuous flow of negative news, the inadequacy of daily resources, everything is adding to this growing anxiety and depression. Being confined at home for such long periods of time, can be mentally challenging for us. When our mind is flooded with the uncertainty of the future, we often experience sleepless nights causing fatigue. Many of us are unable to relax our mind during this time thereby increasing the stress on our minds.
Some of the advantages of yoga are listed below:
- Yoga increases your flexibility.This is why many people start yoga, and it’s certainly a great benefit of yoga practice. Yoga postures and sequences help to increase the body’s range of motion. The mindful approach of yoga helps to ensure that stretching is done safely, allowing the nervous system to release the muscles into gentle, effective stretches. This reduces the risk of injuring ligaments and tendons, which can occur through more aggressive approaches to flexibility training. Releasing tension in the muscles can also help them to relax and let go, helping your body to open up more.
- Yoga helps you to build strength. Although many people overlook this one, seeing only yoga’s benefits for flexibility, yoga is actually a fantastic strengthening practice.. Yoga helps to strengthen the muscles that support the body’s weight, leading to functional strength. It is also fantastic for building core strength. This improves athletic performance and your functionality in everyday life, while keeping you safe from injury.
- Yoga helps to keep your joints healthy. Yoga will strengthen the muscles around the joints, helping to stabilise them. By moving the joints in their full range of motion, yoga can help to promote better joint health. The mobilisation of the joints improves the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates them, allowing for smooth and healthy movement of the bones. Synovial fluid also delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients to the joint cartilage, helping to restore it and keep it healthy. Yoga can even help those with more serious joint problems such as arthritis, improving physical function and reducing pain.
- Yoga reduces stress. Many people begin yoga to improve their flexibility, but they keep coming back because they find it makes them feel so much better. The focus, centring and breathing of yoga all help to reduce stress and can be the ideal antidote to a hectic modern lifestyle. In part this is another wonderful benefit of the mindful aspect of yoga. It is also due to the positive impact of increasing activity levels and exercise, along with the relaxation and reduction of physical tension that yoga brings. Yoga can leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed, physically, mentally and energetically.