Yoga takes us to a place of self-reflection, self-awareness and continued growth...
The benefits of Yoga
The first and foremost beneficial aspect of Yoga is flexibility which is an essential element in maintaining good health. Tight hips can strain the knee joints and create an imbalance in your posture resulting in pains and stress on the joints. Tight hamstrings can flatten the natural curves in the lumbar spine leading to overuse of other muscle areas where your body tries to compensate. Inflexible muscles and connective tissue can cause poor posture; slouching, forward head and hunched shoulders leading to many other health problems and complications.
Builds muscle strength
Although yoga is a relaxing sport, the muscles that are contracting in order to maintain some of the poses for a long duration of time are often muscles that the body will never use naturally. Yoga activates these muscles that are dormant in the body, the more you practice yoga you begin to strengthen these muscles and use them in everyday life. As a result your body will increase overall muscle strength, in particular your core strength, which will help maintain over body posture and composition.
If your persist with Yoga your posture will correct itself dramatically. Yoga aligns the spine in its correct position, lengthening it and strengthening the muscles supporting it. Holding it in position even in your relaxed state. Our heads are also like a bowling ball that your spine has to keep upright all day, it is easier and less stressful on your neck, shoulders and back if it is directly ontop of a straight spine. If your head is placed a couple of inches forward then it will wreck havoc on your joints and muscles, causing chronic stress where your body tries to compensate. Complications can arise with continuous poor posture, Yoga helps mitigate the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Protects Spine & Bone Health
The poses in yoga will activate and work the muscles surrounding the spine, helping it support the correct aligned position. Some of the poses, when bending forward with your head upside down releases the tension in the spinal disks decompressing the spine area. Movement in the body helps the flow of nutrients to the spine, as well as lowering the stress hormone cortisol is known to keep calcium rich in the bones.
Our everyday busy lives wreck havoc on our health; the constant looking down at our phones, sitting at desks in the office all day, clenching our jaws, uptight shoulders, we have many unconscious bad habits. This tension needs releasing before it causes further problems, Yoga is one of the best ways to relax and release the tension without embarking on other stressful exercises.
This maybe as obvious as flexibility, but your balance significantly improves increasing your response time, coordination, and posture and preventing injuries.
Deeper relaxation, sleep and boosts happiness!
Pranayama (the practice of controlling the breath) and meditation induces the relaxation response, slowing down mental thoughts and loops, creating a restorative state of mind and mental focus; which in turn reduces anxiety and stress. Whilst the physical activity maintained during yoga ups heart rate and increases serotonin levels which enter the brain which makes us feel happier. It also lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and other neurochemicals associated with depression, which is why Yoga is known to have a complete emotional balance.