Yoga is a practice that has the ability to affect us both mentally and physically. Below we have provided five essential benefits of practicing. Do you have any more to share with us? Please let us know in a comment below!
We all have busy minds, and our constant mind chatter makes it difficult for us to focus. Yoga prioritizes focusing on the breath while doing one pose at a time. The more we stay present in these elements of yoga practice, the more that focus extends to other areas of our lives. Not to mention, when we pause our thoughts, we let our mind rests, which enables us to think more clearly.
One fundamental element of yoga is non-judgment. In our practice, we learn to not be hard on ourselves if we cannot do the full expression of a pose like we wish we could, and to not speak negatively about ourselves if we mess up or fall over. The yoga community is one that encourages people not to compare themselves to others, either. The more you practice this, the more capable you will be of consciously choosing thoughts and acts of self-love and kindness.
Staying physically active is imperative to keeping our joints lubricated and our bodies from feeling stuck. Yoga, especially, helps keep our joints and bones healthy due to it being a relatively gentle and low-impact activity that focuses on alignment. In yoga, we are working every muscle in the body, and muscle supports joints and aligns bones. Each yoga pose allows us to develop a greater range of motion, which not only affects our flexibility levels but impacts the long-term health and mobility of our bodies.
Mental and emotional healing
The asanas in yoga allow us time to look and reflect inward. The time we spend in these postures can at times feel pretty uncomfortable. That is because we typically do not slow down long enough to let these feelings come to the surface or into our conscious mind. The discomfort can be connected to all sorts of emotions, trauma, memories, and sensations that we are experiencing or have experienced previously. In some forms of more modern yoga that move at a quicker pace, this benefit may take longer to achieve. But overall, the act of moving through the postures and focusing on the breath allows us to see and feel what we have been missing. Only from a place of realization can we begin to find acceptance and healing.
Yoga is anything but easy. When you combine your bodyweight with the strong element of gravity, yoga will build muscles faster than you may think. Yoga was also designed with intention to incorporate every single muscle of the body. Plus, there are some yoga classes such as slow flow or vinyasa that help you to build muscle, while other types of gentle classes give you the time and stretching necessary for your muscles to repair. When it comes to muscle growth, the reparation process is just as critical because your muscles will not build if the fibers do have a chance to repair.
Some yoga styles are more relaxing, while others can be pretty intense and vigorous. With so many types of yoga to choose from comes a world of benefits. No matter what style you choose, yoga is a great way to not only strengthen and stretch your body but improve your focus and calm your mind.