Yoga – Health Benefits Review
Yoga in an ancient practice, having been around for over 5,000 years. Millions of people around the world enjoy its benefits. Yoga teaches breathing and meditation techniques, and a variety of poses called asanas. Some classes focus on relaxation and other classes focus on strength, flexibility, or balance. Yoga can help your body become lean, toned, and more relaxed.
Some people believe that yoga requires you to be flexible; they worry that they can’t handle certain poses because they are either too tight or too old. However, flexibility will improve with practice, and it’s something that you are never too old to develop. The movement in yoga gently and safely stretches your muscles while releasing the built-up lactic acid that cause the stiffness, pain, and tension in your muscles. You’ll increase your range of motion and soon feel your body moving more fluidly and easily. Yoga also stretches out the soft tissue, such as your ligaments and tendons. You’ll feel the benefits of your increased flexibility almost immediately.
There are a wide range of yoga workouts, from vigorous and hardcore workouts, like power yoga or ashtanga, which focus on muscle tone and strength, while others like hatha or lyengar build endurance and precision in the alignment of poses, and less on movement. Other classes focus on the spiritual and relaxation benefits of yoga.
Yoga is a wonderful exercise program for older people. Many poses strengthen your upper body, which is important as you get older. The standing poses strengthen your legs and abdomen. Almost all of the poses help strengthen your core. The poses cultivate core strength because it forces you to use your abdominal muscles to support each pose. After even only one day after a yoga workout, you can feel it in your abs. Yoga can also help align your posture as your flexibility and strength increase. Your stronger core lets you sit and stand taller as you become more conscious of your body; if you begin to slouch, you notice more quickly, and straighten your posture.
Yoga’s focus on proper breathing can improve your lung capacity. There are deep breaths that go along with each pose. Learning to breathe properly helps other cardiovascular exercises you participate in, like running or biking.
The deep breathing in yoga also helps you relax, and helps you focus, and adds more oxygen to the brain, which can cause you to feel happier and improve your general feeling of well-being. Current studies are being done to see if it can be an effective way to treat obsessive compulsive disorder or depression.
Yoga benefits the heart as by lowering blood pressure and slowing the heart rate It. It’s also shown to have an anti-oxidant effect, as well as lowering cholesterol and boosting the immune system. All of these added benefits can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Yoga is an extremely calming and soothing activity. Some forms of yoga use meditation techniques to reduce constant “mind chatter” and the nagging voices and endless thoughts which are the root of a lot of the stress in our lives. By teaching yourself to silence this chatter, you learn to find that quiet, peaceful place where you can just “be.” A biochemical reaction associated with yoga is thought to decrease in catecholamines, the adrenal hormones that respond to stress. By lowering the levels of these neurotransmitters, you are left feeling calmer and more relaxed.
Yoga ultimately is not just good for the body, but it’s good for the soul as well.