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Health Benefits of Yoga

Benefits of Yoga
This guest post was written by Shari Duddy

Shari Duddy is a Yoga teacher and educator in New Jersey. Shari has many years of experience teaching Yoga

Yoga has been around for a very long time. It dates back to ancient times, more than 5,000 years ago, with many yoga and health experts saying even longer. Though many of the earliest recorded yoga practices have been lost or destroyed, there is still enough of that early information in existence and available today to see where current yoga practices and poses come from, regardless of the changes that have occurred over the centuries. So why is it still around? And why is it even more popular today than ever before? The answers are simple. Yoga has many health benefits. Today, yoga is widely practiced in the United States and throughout the world because of those benefits to mind and body. Experienced and knowledgeable yoga teachers recommend it for the many number of advantages it gives to mental and physical well-being. And, though many folks consider yoga’s benefits to be intangible, the truth is that yoga can bring many tangible health benefits as well.

Increased strength

While you are practicing yoga, you will begin to feel your heartbeat increase. Your body will be getting the cardio workout it needs, and that means you will not only be burning fat. You will also be building up your muscles, and that includes your heart muscle. Every pose and movement you make while performing yoga will help you to build up all muscle groups, from smaller muscles such as in arms, to larger muscle groups such as those in your legs. The result will be increased strength and balance that will help you not only to carry your weight more effectively and with less stress on each muscle, but it will also help you to live a more active lifestyle. The new body you’ve developed through yoga will be a more efficient one that allows you to walk, jog, run, and live your life with more energy and vibrancy.

Increased function and energy

The stretches you will perform throughout your yoga workout will help your body to be more efficient at waste removal, leaving you with more energy. One of the single greatest benefits of yoga is that it compresses and stretches the body, and this enhances body functions that are meant to remove toxins. As your body detoxifies through yoga movements and sweating that occurs throughout your workout, it becomes more capable of flushing out all those toxins and waste that can make you feel sluggish. Now, your body is a more efficient machine that has left you feeling more energetic and powerful.

Increased endurance and flexibility

Another of yoga’s significant benefits is that it develops flexibility, thereby giving you more endurance throughout your day. Yoga increases range of motion. It also helps to increase blood flow throughout your entire body. It aids better blood flow through limbs, veins, and capillaries, and also to your body’s organs, such as heart and brain. Note:  One of the most important things to know when performing yoga stretches is when to stop. This is where an experienced yoga teacher comes in. It’s a good idea to train with someone who’s trained in true yoga poses, rather than go it alone.

Mental health

Yoga is a known stress reducer. Yoga breathing increases oxygen to every part of the body, and that means better blood flow to the brain. Yoga is designed to make you more aware of your body and its breathing. It brings you into a more relaxed, meditative state, and this fosters greater mental health.

If you are someone who always thought of the benefits of yoga as intangible, existing somewhere in the spiritual realm, it may be time to rethink yoga. Though there certainly are metaphysical aspects of yoga that escape those who are looking for tangible assistance from their exercise program, the fact is that yoga has a number of physical benefits as well. From increased strength and endurance, to boost in energy and flexibility, to better organ function and waste removal, and even mental health that can be a significant contributor to physical well-being, the benefits of yoga are many and can easily be put into practice with the aid of skilled and knowledgeable yoga teachers.