Yoga is perhaps one of the most effective forms of physical activity. As a practicing yogi or yogini, you can expect to experience broad-reaching effects on the mind and body. It's easy to be misled by how yoga is sometimes represented. But, there’s a lot more to it than you would imagine.
Lets take a look at the importance of yoga:
1. Increased flexibility
One of the most obvious benefits of yoga is increased flexibility. You might think that flexibility isn’t necessary, but it’s extremely important.
As you practice yoga, you'll find that your muscles begin to loosen little by little. Over time, the muscle soreness goes away.
If you have tight muscles, you can strain your joints and end up in pain.
Muscle inflexibility can also cause poor posture. This can impact your self-confidence now and lead to body issues in the future. Learning yoga can help you begin to take more control of how your feel for years to come!
2. Joint strength and stability
The beauty of yoga is that it takes all your joints through a full range of motion. Through that motion, the joint cartilage maintains its texture. That prevents it from wearing away from lack of use.
When joint cartilage is damaged, the underlying bone becomes exposed. Friction from bone against bone can result in very bad pains and ongoing discomfort.
Yoga is one of the few exercises that build strength without putting pressure on joints.
When you have healthy joints, they continue to be stable. You won't have to worry about them slipping out of the socket. This is one of the main reasons that yoga is so important for long term health.
3. Better circulation
Believe it or not, yoga can help your circulation! There are certain relaxation poses that get the blood flowing in the hands and feet.
Practicing key yoga poses can help to boost levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. These carry oxygen to the tissues and keep your body functioning well.
Increased circulation means you'll be less prone to blood clots.
4. Healthy heart
Health specialists recommend yoga for optimal heart health. Using yoga to get your heart rate into the aerobic range can lower your risk of heart attack.
By learning yoga, you can achieve cardio conditioning without elevating the heart rate when you do yoga.
Such exercises can lower the heart rate, increase endurance, and maximize oxygen intake.
5. Lowered cortisol levels
Cortisol is known as the "stress hormone." When you experience a crisis, your cortisol levels temporarily increase. If those levels remain elevated, your immune system can be affected. Yoga can lower your cortisol level.
If your levels of cortisol are elevated, it can lead to depression, high blood pressure, and other illnesses.
Elevated cortisol can also result in "food-seeking behavior." Typically, this means you’re driven to eat more.
Learning yoga increases your calmness and patience, which lowers your cortisol levels.
Overall, you can expect to boost your mood if you practice yoga consistently. Exercise of this nature engages your body and releases your "feel-good" hormones. When you take care of yourself physically, it transfers to other aspects of your being. You may still be searching for the answer of "what is yoga"? Yoga means something different to everyone that practices it, and that is something that you will need to find on your own journey. If you want to experience many positive health benefits, both physically and mentally, yoga is the way to go!