We’re all looking for ways to make our lives better. We may be reading self-help books, following a new, healthy meal plan, or even trying meditation. The lure to practice yoga is one that naturally calls to many of us in this quest.
It’s understandable, right? With so much modern research and representation on mainstream media, yoga is still a pretty big deal in the zeitgeist.
Turns out, we’re not wrong. Guidance in this direction can come from marvelling at a hard-to-achieve pose on Instagram or your doctor’s advice. Wherever you get the inspiration to practice yoga doesn’t matter.
What does matter is knowing that this ancient practice of merging mind, body, and spirit can have a super positive effect on our lives.
What Happens In Our Bodies When We Practice Yoga?
There is such a wide range of effects that happen in our bodies when we practice yoga. Yoga, in fact, is as positive to your body and mind as many other forms of exercise.
Start to practice yoga, and you may just receive benefits in some of the following areas:
Reduce Pain And Inflammation
A reduction in pain – especially back pain – is one of the most sought-after benefits of practicing yoga. The movements themselves help to create more strength and flexibility, which can naturally reduce pain. Further, doing the movements gets blood moving through your body, including your organs, which can have a natural pain-reducing effect.
The act of de-stressing with a yoga class can also do wonders to reduce inflammation. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation, and yoga has been known to reduce anxiety. Because of this, a regular yoga practice can both reduce your pain, as well as any systemic inflammation you may be experiencing.
Yoga For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you know how much it affects your breathing. Fortunately, yoga can come to the rescue and help to relieve and manage symptoms of chronic anxiety.
The majority of the benefits for yoga and anxiety come from breath exercises. However, the poses themselves are also excellent for stabilizing stress levels and helping reduce anxiousness.
Even by practicing a couple of poses a day, you can start to feel a reduction in anxiety. Check out these postures to help you with anxiety and panic attacks.
Flexibility and Balance
If there’s one thing you can do to feel more athletic and at home in your body, it’s to have more balance and flexibility. Yoga is amazing for both of these, and a regular practice especially can bring huge benefits when it comes to range of motion and how solid you feel on your feet.
Flexibility and balance can help you in so many different areas of your life, but especially when it comes to other activities. This is one of the many ways yoga can help you to be more fit and healthy – it empowers you to be more active, longer.
Yoga can help to fire up your metabolism in a major way. No matter what, upping your movement is going to have a positive effect on metabolism. However, yoga specifically can help metabolism beyond just basic movement.
Yoga exercises can improve digestion by focusing on postures which stimulate your core, and also create gentle pressure on the abdomen. Further, when your body has poor circulation, your metabolism suffers. Yoga is excellent for circulation, as it moves blood through areas that don’t often receive movement. Further, the muscle challenge that comes along with yoga is great for your metabolism. As the muscles grow in strength, you burn more calories, and your body functions at a higher level.
Increased “Body Awareness”
The one thing you’ll notice with a regular practice is that you have a better sense of your body. Increased body awareness is a huge benefit that comes not only from the exercises and postures, but from the focus on mindfulness.
The body is our way of connecting to so many things. Not only do we interact with the environment around us with our body, but we also can sense into our body and experience our inner world. Thoughts, feelings, and emotions communicate with us through body sensations. The more attuned we are to these, the more of an ‘aware person’ we can be.
Better body awareness will let you live a more tuned-in existence. You’ll feel better, and be able to do other activities better as well.
Does Yoga Have Long term Health Benefits?
There are so many studies that validate the long-term effects of yoga. In fact, medical journals are regularly publishing articles on how much yoga can improve your health.
Beyond what we covered above, yoga can also improve strength for people of all ages. It can help you heal faster and better from injuries and surgeries. A regular practice can ease arthritis symptoms, as well as prevent them developing or worsening in the future.
All of this to say, we haven’t even talked about heart health, sleep health, and that fact that yoga can boost your energy and your mood.
I’m sure we can agree that a yoga practice can help you live a healthier and happier life!