While fitness fads come and go, no other exercise program is as timeless as yoga. The practice has especially become increasingly popular in recent times. For most people, yoga offers a retreat from the chaotic modern life. Beyond meditation, the ancient practice has a handful of mental and physical benefits to offer.
Enhanced Agility, Strength and Flexibility
Some exercises give you strength while others enhance your agility. Besides yoga, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another activity that boosts your flexibility, agility and strength, all at once. Yoga will repair your body and ensure that all your connective tissues and ligaments are just as strong as your muscles.
Correcting Anomalies in Body Weight
While an hour of yoga won’t really burn as many calories as a more intense activity, the practice still aids in normalizing body weight. Yoga achieves this by restoring optimal hormonal balance in the body. By managing your nervous system’s incessant fight-or-flight response, it suppresses the urge to overeat and makes your brain feel satiated. For individuals plagued with stress, yoga is the perfect solution for fighting obesity and promoting relaxation.
Enhancing Memory and Cognitive Function
You may be wondering how a practice that entails stretching and breathing can enhance your cognitive abilities. The ability of yoga to improve an individual’s mental well-being is well-documented. Typically, yogis tend to have higher levels of concentration, as well as enhanced memory capacity. Most of these benefits can be attributed to meditation, which is the chief goal of all yoga practices.
Enhancing Respiratory Efficiency
Yoga is among the practices that utilize pranayama. This refers to the cultivation of life force (also known as chi) through breathing. While pranayama is generally practiced as a way to enhance one’s state of awareness, it is also known to enhance lung capacity and reduce breathing pace. Both of these have been directly linked to an extended lifespan.
Yoga Alleviates Pain
Numerous studies have proved yoga’s ability to relieve pain. Whether one suffers from migraines or arthritis, yoga has been shown to effectively minimize inflammation that results from these illnesses. In fact, the practice is actually more effective at reducing pain than morphine. So if you’re one of the many people who suffer from back pain, yoga could be your best solution.
Normalizing Blood Pressure
For individuals suffering from hypertension, yoga has been shown to be quite effective at improving blood pressure. It’s likely that yoga restores sensitivity to some receptors that sense imbalance in blood pressure. Patients with known coronary artery illnesses can also benefit from yoga’s ability to improve lipid profile.
Perhaps the best benefit of yoga is that you can do it just about anywhere. You don’t need gym memberships or expensive equipment. For more reasons to start practicing yoga, just visit a class within your area and learn first-hand what it has to offer you.