BENEFITS OF YOGA
Yoga can have profound effects on the body, mind, and spirit.
Yoga involves a combination of deep stretches, movement, deep breathing, and relaxation. The many styles of yoga can range from a focus on deep relaxation and tension release to a focus on strengthening and energizing the body. Benefits tend to be physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Yoga is often taught “on the mat” but it’s true benefits are seen when it translates into full well-being, or “yoga off the mat.”
Yoga can also impact on a person's exercise capacity.
Researchers studied a small group of sedentary individuals who had not practiced yoga before. After eight weeks of practicing yoga at least twice a week for a total of 180 minutes, participants had greater muscle strength and endurance, flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness.
A partial list of benefits that one may experience in yoga includes the following:
• reduced stress
• increased flexibility
• improved mood
• improved balance and concentration
• lowered blood pressure
• decreased anxiety
• improved sleep
• deepened sense of spirituality
• reduced pain
• strengthened immune system
• improved posture
• increased relaxation and sense of calm
• improved circulation
A Boost to Weight Loss and Maintenance
People who practice yoga and are mindful eaters are more in tune with their bodies. They may be more sensitive to hunger cues and feelings of fullness.
Researchers found that people who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood. People who were overweight actually lost weight. Overall, those who practiced yoga had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared with those who did not practice yoga. Researchers attributed this to mindfulness. Mindful eating can lead to a more positive relationship with food and eating.
Another study found that practicing yoga improved lipid profiles in healthy patients as well as patients with known coronary artery disease. It also lowered excessive blood sugar levels in people with non-insulin dependent diabetes and reduced their need for medications.
Yoga is now being included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs due to its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits.
Research shows that yoga can help people with depression, arthritis, and improve survival from cancer.
Yoga will help bring a sense of calm and mindfulness to your busy life.
registered yoga teacher (RYT)