Many of us are aware that if we exercise many times per week, we will be healthier and fitter.
However, every one of us has a unique set of obstacles to overcome in order to live our best lives.
For some, it’s a matter of schedule – it’s tough to fit in an exercise regimen while working long hours and caring for a home and children – and for others, it’s a fear of not being fit or strong enough to begin something new.
Yoga has grown in popularity among individuals interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle in recent years.
Yoga studios and programmes have sprung up all over the place, making it easier than ever to step on the mat and see if it’s the right fit for you.
While going to the gym can be frightening, yoga lessons are accessible to everyone. It makes no difference if you’ve never tried yoga before. It makes no difference whether you believe you aren’t “flexible” enough to perform some of the poses. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or elderly if you’re fit or not, if you’re a healthy weight or if you’re overweight.
Continue reading to learn 8 Reasons to Start a Yoga Practice!
1. It Aids In a More Restful Night’s Rest.
If there is one commodity in limited supply in our hectic world, it has to be a good night’s sleep. It can be difficult to fall asleep at night – or to get back to sleep if we wake up worrying – if we are anxious. There is lots of evidence to suggest that practising yoga can help you sleep better.
Yoga, according to the National Sleep Foundation, can help you sleep better, especially if you have insomnia:
“Insomniacs who practise yoga on a daily basis sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and return to sleep faster if they wake up in the middle of the night.”
Insomniacs aren’t the only ones who can benefit from time spent on the mat. When people over the age of 60 practise yoga on a regular basis, they get better sleep, sleep longer, and have more energy during the day. In the second trimester, pregnant women who begin a mindful yoga practice sleep better and wake up less during the night. Finally, it has been discovered that cancer patients who practise yoga on a regular basis during their treatment sleep better.
Even if you get enough sleep on a regular basis, yoga can help you feel more refreshed and energised during the day. Breathing exercises, extending your muscles, increasing your balance, and learning new meditation techniques are all valuable skills that may be applied outside of the yoga studio.
2. It Promotes the Practise of Practicing Mindfulness.
Over the last few years, mindfulness has become a “buzzword.” But what exactly does it imply?
“Mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not unduly reactive or overwhelmed by our surroundings.”
As a result, yoga and mindfulness go hand in hand. Many people claim they enjoy yoga because it allows them to completely turn off and focus on calm breathing and movement, as opposed to running or going to the gym. Because it is hard to concentrate on both at the same time, yoga becomes a refuge from the stressors outside the room.
Mindfulness is something that we all naturally know how to accomplish. It isn’t necessary for us to learn it. We may tap into our ability to be present and aware of what is going on around us in a stress-free atmosphere by combining it with yoga. We can learn more about ourselves, become more mindful of others, improve our performance, and lessen stress by doing so.
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3. It Improves Your Breathing.
If mindfulness is something we can do without even thinking about it, then breathing is much more natural! Unless we have a cough or a cold, many of us don’t think about breathing at all.
Breathing isn’t something you take for granted if you have asthma or COPD. Because of the possibility of wheezing or a full-blown asthma attack, running and other high-intensity exercises can feel intimidating or even impossible. Doctors, on the other hand, recommend that everyone exercise for 30 minutes 4-5 times per week.
Breathing is an important part of any yoga practice. So much so that many yoga practises call for a specific form of breath called ujjayi or ocean breath, which is deeper, more controlled, and more intense. Ujjayi breath and its advantages are taught as a key building block of yoga by good teachers, which means it is one of the first things you learn.
Everyone benefits from breathing deeper, filling their lungs, and learning to control their breath. Better breathing can increase your stamina and performance in other sports while also making it easier to manage in stressful situations.
People with pre-existing respiratory disorders, such as asthma, will benefit even more from yoga’s breathing component. Some asthmatics may be able to manage better with symptoms like wheezing and chest tightness if they have greater respiratory control.
Furthermore, specific yoga positions, known as asanas, such as backbends and chest openers, aid in the opening of the lungs and the removal of mucus.
4. It Renders You More Powerful.
Strength training should be done at least twice a week, according to health and fitness experts, to keep your metabolism operating smoothly and your bones healthy. Strength training usually conjures up thoughts of weight machines and dumbbells, but yoga can help you get stronger. Because you’re effectively lifting your own body weight in several poses, this is true. You are using your muscles to support many of the positions you will practise in every yoga class, even though you are not lifting a separate “weight.”
You may have seen yoga practitioners — yogis – with toned, lean muscles and attractive physiques on social media. It’s tempting to believe that yoga is a simple approach to build and grow your muscles. “Yoga can be just as effective as weights when it comes to growing a stronger, more impressive physique,” says Nicholas DiNubile, M.D. Because you can only raise your own body weight, however, creating obvious bodily improvements through yoga takes more time, effort, and talent than lifting weights.
Yoga, like breathing, maybe an excellent addition to a varied workout routine. Attending a yoga class once a week can benefit your mind, body, and athletic performance in other sports. Yoga positions help strengthen muscles and increase stamina, while stretching improves flexibility. Although mastering impressive poses might take years, practising certain yoga poses on a regular basis can help you become stronger, more flexible, and less prone to injury.
5. It Has the Potential to Boost Your Health.
This may seem self-evident, given that we’ve just discussed how yoga can help you relax, sleep better, build strength, and improve your breathing. There are, however, additional health benefits to stepping onto the mat on a regular basis.
According to the CDC, one in every three persons has hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a primary cause of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. These numbers are especially high among overweight or obese people. The good news is that yoga can help people naturally control and reduce their blood pressure.
Reducing stress is a good start, but particular yoga positions have also been shown to help “turn on” the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation and repair. It also inhibits the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight reaction to stress.
Regular yoga practice can benefit your nervous system by lowering blood pressure and reducing the need for medication as well as the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure when combined with a well-rounded approach to exercise and a healthy diet.
Yoga is extremely beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain, as well as those with high blood pressure. According to recent medical journals, yoga has the exact opposite effect on the brain as chronic pain. While chronic pain has a detrimental impact on the volume of grey matter (the part of the brain made up of neurons) and the integrity of white matter (the part of the brain that links these neurons), yoga has a favourable impact. Furthermore, it has been proven that practising yoga and mastering meditation techniques can lower pain perception and raise pain tolerance.
Last but not least, yoga can help to enhance your immune system. Working long hours, eating on the move, and not getting enough sleep can all combine to make us prone to acquiring any bug that comes our way.
Regularly attending a yoga session can reduce your risk of colds and flu by decreasing stress chemicals that damage your immune systems. Certain yoga asanas stimulate the lymph system and ensure that the various organs are supplied with fresh, oxygenated blood, while healthy breathing practises train both the lungs and the respiratory tract.
Good yoga teachers and regular sessions can help you feel your best, whether you have hypertension or chronic pain, or you just catch every cold your pals pass around.
6. It is a Way To Relax.
We all experience stress at some point in our life. Many of us are subjected to an unhealthy amount of stress on a daily basis, whether it is the job, in our families, or as a result of shifting circumstances. Stress has a harmful impact on our health in addition to making us feel out of control. It can worsen existing problems like diabetes, obesity, migraines, and heart disease, as well as create high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
According to Psychology Today, 80-90 per cent of healthcare visits are due to stress. Doctors advise us to reduce stress for our health’s benefit, however just 3% of doctors actually discuss stress relief with their patients. Those who do recommend doing yoga.
Yoga efficiently prepares your body and mind to handle stress more effectively. Yoga helps you manage stress and enhances your overall health and wellbeing by focusing on meditation and breathing, making slow purposeful movements, and indulging in deep stretches. According to a national poll, up to 85 per cent of persons who practise yoga said it helped them manage stress.
While other forms of exercise, such as going to the gym, swimming, or taking a spin class, can help relieve stress, yoga is unique in that it benefits both the body and the mind. Yoga, unlike these other types of exercise, mixes physical fitness with an underlying philosophy that promotes compassion and mindfulness toward yourself and others – both of which are important factors in reducing stress. Stress hormone levels have been demonstrated in studies to decrease after just a few yoga sessions.
7. It Has the Potential To Be Social.
Yoga may appear to be a solitary exercise due to its emphasis on concentration and mindfulness. But it doesn’t have to be that way; in fact, it’s far more social than going to the gym with a friend. Yoga is a great way to spend time with your friends while trying something new. For people who desire to start a yoga practice, most studios will provide short beginning classes.
See what’s going on at a studio near you! Invite a friend along and combine an hour of yoga with a stroll in the park, a healthy lunch, or a coffee date.
Introductory classes are also a terrific chance to meet new people, particularly if you have recently relocated. After all, you already share one characteristic!
8. You Don’t Need a Lot Of Gear.
Running shoes are required for runners, and gym memberships are required for gym members, but yoga takes very little in the way of equipment.
Shorts or leggings with a t-shirt and bare feet are recommended by most instructors. All you actually need is a yoga mat to get started.
The good news is that you won’t need a mat to get started. Most studios will gladly lend mats to new students who wish to practise yoga for the first time. Good teachers will supply you with everything you need, including cork or foam blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters, to ensure that you get the most out of your yoga class, whether it’s your first or 100th!