The Many Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice that has yielded benefits to practitioners for centuries. It’s becoming more and more popular all around the world. If you already practice yoga, you’re fully aware of some of the benefits we’re about to discuss. But if you’re a newcomer, you’re probably wondering what all of the fuss is about. While yoga is not a miracle cure for your aches, pains, and anxiety, even practicing one hour a week, you will start to see some of the benefits of yoga. By practicing 2-3 times a week for an hour each time, you may see some dramatic changes in your physical and mental well being,
The benefits of yoga for men and the benefits of yoga for women are typically the same, and can be broken down into physical benefits and mental benefits. Kids experience these same benefits. Most children are more limber than adults, and can really benefit from mindfulness training. If you have health problems, you may want to consult with your doctor before beginning to practice yoga.
So let’s break down the benefits:
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is of course, exercise. You will definitely get a workout. Just because you’re not dripping with sweat or lifting huge amounts of weight doesn’t mean you won’t see results from a regular yoga routine.
If you’re new to yoga, start out slow, with some of the easier and simpler poses. Once you feel comfortable with those, you can move on to the harder exercises. Since the yoga studios are still shut down, you may want to explore how an online yoga instructor can help you during COVID-19. It’s better to start out with an instructor, so you learn proper form and breathing techniques. Once you have some experience, you can practice on your own. You can also reach out to me anytime with any queries as I do offer private yoga and mindfulness coaching.
Whether you work with an instructor or follow a YouTube video, yoga has been proven to:
- Increase strength
- Improve your endurance
- Improve your balance
- Tone your body
- Help you lose weight
- Helps you relax
- Promotes better sleep
Even the National Health Service (NHS) acknowledges the many benefits of yoga. And let’s face it. Your physical health and mental health are tightly connected. That’s why we consider being able to relax and get a better night’s sleep as both a physical and mental benefit of practicing yoga.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
There is growing, science-based evidence that yoga is good for your mental health. Studies include the benefits for cancer patients, older people, pregnant women, healthy adults, and more. Since yoga includes the mind and body practices of mindfulness, deep breathing, and body awareness, it helps your mental health in a number of ways, including:
- Relieves stress
- Helps with anxiety
- Can help with depression
- Helps you focus
- Helps you relax
- Promotes better sleep
Don’t believe yoga can yield all of these benefits? Give it a try, and see if you don’t change your mind.
The Right Yoga Equipment Helps
Having the right yoga equipment can help you get the most out of your yoga practice. The basics include:
- Yoga mat
- Yoga block
- Yoga mat strap for carrying your mat and assisting stretches
- Workout clothing -- either exercise clothing or something light and breathable that you can move around in
- Water bottle
- Hand towel
Combining the sights, smells, and sounds of nature with your yoga practice is amazing for the body and soul. And outdoors could be your balcony, a park, or anywhere you’re allowed to go, and can maintain your social distance.
Learning yoga now, or improving your practice, will be a skill you will use for years to come, in good times and bad. The benefits of yoga are good for life.
Layla’s Closing Thoughts
18-24 May is Mental Health Awareness Week, may we continue to focus on Kindness. Every day is such a different day that we have to learn to sit with some of them and know better days are coming. One low day doesn't mean it will continue, because brighter days come too. As I keep telling myself and the YogaHaus Community members, visualise yourself in a happy place, like the ocean and ride those waves, doing whatever makes you feel good. Find your happiness in each day, no matter how little. And do go outside for some fresh air, even if it is ten minutes, it makes the world of difference.
If you need someone to talk to and need some guidance, reach out to me!
Stay healthy and be kind to yourself and others, we are all in this together.