Yoga has been working its way into mainstream culture since the 90’s, but in truth, it’s a practice that’s been going on for 5,000 years.
Practitioners all over the world speak wonders about yoga’s ability to improve mental and physical challenges, and they do so for several good reasons. The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert yogi to enjoy the benefits of this gentle practice.
In addition to cultivating mindfulness and relaxation, let’s take a look at some of the other benefits that come with practicing yoga.
1. Treats Back Pain:
Exercise and movement can help the body reduce and eliminate pain, but a gentle practice that enhances flexibility such as yoga can do wonders for back pain. Yoga has been shown to help those suffering from chronic lower back pain after just a few months of practicing. If you’re someone who doesn’t suffer from lower back pain, you can still benefit from yoga’s spine stretching abilities.
2. Aids Fertility:
Stress throws our bodies off course in several ways. Studies have shown that stress greatly decreases our fertility and yoga is a means to combat this. When women engage in yoga, it gives them the opportunity to de-stress, relax, and open up energetic channels that can increase the chances of conception. Yoga can also improve blood flow to reproductive organs, therefore improving their function and hormone levels.
3. Prevents Heart Disease:
Though yoga isn’t overly-strenuous, it can be challenging. Yoga asks your body to find balance and in doing so, it builds your strength and flexibility. When this happens, it increases your capacity for exercise. If you struggle with physical activity now, yoga may be a gateway that will allow you to work up to other cardio exercises. Yoga has also been shown to help patients diagnosed with heart failure due to its ability to reduce arterial plaque.
4. Relieves Asthma Symptoms:
Yoga encourages deep breathing as well as the practice of pranayama. Pranayama is an essential part of yoga that can ease the symptoms of asthma.
5. Combats Arthritis:
One of the worst things you can do for arthritis is sit still. Consistent movement is good for those with arthritis and a gentle practice such as yoga is highly beneficial. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, don’t feel like you can’t practice yoga. Most studios have props such as belts, blocks, and bolsters that will help you find a comfortable position. If you stick with it, you just may find that it helps combat your symptoms and pain.
6. Promotes Divine Connection:
Yoga is a mind-body experience after all, so naturally, it encourages our connection with Divine/God/Source. When we allow our minds to get quiet, we hear the messages that Divine has for us. Perhaps you’re questioning the next step you should take on your spiritual path, or you believe there’s another lesson to learn, the meditative aspect of yoga can help you reconnect and listen.
7. Improves Memory:
Yoga is great for the mind as well as the body. When we engage in yoga, we allow ourselves to let go of physical tension, which reduces stress. When we reduce stress, we’re better able to recall details, thoughts, and conversations, which means we give ourselves a memory boost.
What does yoga do for you? I love to hear how people are moved, shifted and changed by yoga 🙂