8 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Overall Health
In the wellness world, many people are discovering the positive health benefits of yoga. Vinyasa flow is one of the most common types of yoga practices because it incorporates both movement and breath control, giving participants physical and mental benefits. In this article, we will take you through a complete series of a repeating flow, honoring first the right side of your body, followed by the left side. Here are eight of the many ways yoga can improve your health today.
1. Yoga lowers blood pressure and helps calm your mood
With the combination of breath and movement, yoga participants often report feeling more relaxed after a class. With the focus on breathing and the time to sit in a pose, a yoga class will put you in a better mood to manage daily stressors. According to SHAPE Magazine, 20 minutes of yoga will help you focus better and be more alert. The ending pose, called a savasana, mandates that you lie still on the ground with your eyes closed. Some yogis look forward to this part of class the most.
2. Yoga will increase everyone’s fitness levels
You don’t have to be wearing designer yoga pants to be a successful yogi. Many people begin yoga as a gentle way to rehab their bodies after injuries that prevent them from traditional workouts. The American Osteopathic Association recommends yoga for all fitness levels and abilities because of the infinite amount of modifications to a pose. If your wrists are sore during downward dog, you can shift the pose into a plank and rest your forearms off the mat to relieve the pressure. The more you participate in yoga, the more flexibility your body will have.
3. You learn respect for your body
There’s something powerful about manipulating your body into a difficult posse, like the arms and legs out of squatting position called “Goddess pose.” Body positivity is often referenced as one of the benefits of yoga practice because people that appreciate their body complain less. When you honor your body in this way, you will make better choices.
4. You develop healthy eating habits
As mentioned above, body positivity is a powerful mental motivation. Yogis often report making healthy eating decisions after a class, which can carry over into everyday life. According to Harvard Medical School, people taking yoga classes reported they were more mindful when it comes to eating. When taking the time to savor each bite of food, yogis tend to eat less and feel full faster.
5. Your digestion will improve
The bending and twisting poses in yoga are natural ways to help ease stomach discomfort and indigestion. Twisting poses will flush toxins out of your organs and improve lymphatic drainage, according to USA Today. Many trap emotions within their bodies and the movement of yoga helps release them, making you feel lighter after an intense class.
6. You can lose weight and tone muscle
Weight loss and increased muscle mass will not happen after one yoga class, but over time, you may notice a difference. An increased connection to your body will also help identify factors that contribute to weight loss as the weeks and months of yoga practice continue. Making yoga a weekly or daily part of your practice will aid in both of these goals.
7. Yoga allows you to foster deep connections with others
While many yogis will accompany a friend to a class, solo attendees of yoga classes also can make new friends and expand their social circle, improving their emotional health. If you’re ready to make a full week or weekend commitment to yoga, you may consider signing up for a yoga retreat. When you spend time with like-minded people away from distractions of the outside world and technology, you can build deeper connections both inside and outside of class.
8. Yoga can be practiced anywhere, allowing for workout flexibility
If you’re not able to make it to your regular class, you can always practice yoga wherever you find yourself, ensuring that you never miss a beat with your daily workout routine. Whether this is on a retreat or in the comfort of your own home, having the ability to practice yoga whenever is definitely a positive. Consider setting up a space in your home for a regular practice. It can be a quiet, open nook or just a small space in the living room, but having your mat and a way to practice can turn any space into a makeshift studio.