Ancient India is the place where yoga originated. Yoga, which means “to add, unite with or attach to God” in Sanskrit, is a holistic approach to health and meditation that targets a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Like the “spa” which started in ancient Rome and had become widespread across the globe, yoga cuts across different cultures from the time that it has been developed. The immediate objectives of yoga are twofold: for meditation and exercise. It has many schools, disciplines, and practices, but what’s important is to know what you’re getting into and the advantages it brings. There are way too many health benefits actually, but we’ve picked the top ones that would make you grab that yoga mat and start doing it.
It clears your mind and helps you to focus
Since yoga is meditation, you get into a zone where your mind is just still and free from all tension. You are then able to rid it of unnecessary clutter and ultimately achieve focus.
It increases your flexibility and balance
Initially, you will find it difficult to stretch your limbs or reach for your toes, for example. But you’ll soon get the hang of it and realize in the succeeding times that you can now go much farther than before. What used to be clumsy attempts to flex those muscles have become graceful stretches and balance. Which brings us to the next benefit.
It eases pain
All those stretching and balancing gradually loosens up the muscles that are sore and stiff. As a result, any ache and pain that you might be experiencing will now be forgotten and significantly relieved.
It improves your posture and overall bone health
You don’t have to be a ballerina nor a gymnast to achieve that perfect posture. In time, yoga will correct your posture and more importantly, promote bone density. Your spine is also one vital body part that would be well protected to keep those disks robust and resilient.
It strengthens the muscles
You build not just your bones but your muscles as well, as it goes hand-in-hand with your added flexibility and improved skeletal framework. You might think that doing weights may be more fun and visibly active in muscle build-up. However, weight-lifting merely does that, and nothing more, especially for your flexibility.
It facilitates blood flow
Blood circulation is greatly enhanced whenever you do yoga, particularly in your extremities. Oxygen is better distributed within your body — like in head, shoulder, and handstands where the inverted positions send oxygenated blood flowing through the lungs and into the other organs.
It allows you to breathe properly
Yoga exercises strengthen the breathing capacity of the lungs. Respiratory problems are treated or prevented whenever you take significant volumes of fewer breaths. As breathing is mostly done through the nostrils, it allows the air to be filtered correctly.
It boosts immunity
Studies show that yoga meditation promotes body resistance in two ways — lowering it to mitigate an adverse immune dysfunction, and increasing it to bring up antibody levels to respond to vaccines.
It helps you sleep better
It has been proven that yoga relaxes the nervous system just enough to provide the body with the needed rest and counter the ill-effects of tiredness and stress. Less stress means a deeper slumber.
It makes you happier
Regularly doing yoga is believed to counter depression and help increase serotonin levels in the blood. Serotonin is the chemical that’s responsible for transmitting nerve impulses and regulating physiological processes that contribute to well-being and mood balance.
Yoga is simple, yet you can never ignore the complex set of benefits it brings.