Health Benefits of Yoga

health-benefits-of-yoga

You’ve probably heard that yoga is good for you. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. it has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities, most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. In addition to practicing the poses, yoga classes may also include instruction on breathing, call and response chanting, meditation, or an inspirational reading by the teacher. In a national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in the United States reported musculo–skeletal and mental health improvements. Read on to learn more about what are the health benefits of yoga, which helps explain why so many people find yoga so addictive.

Stress Reduction

To combat stress, many people turn to meditation or other mental stress reduction tools. And as everyone knows, physical activity is also good for relieving stress, as such, with its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your daily troubles. It can be said to provide the combined benefits of breathing exercises, stretching exercises, fitness programs, meditation practice, and guided imagery, in one technique.

Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

People suffering from depression can benefit from yoga therapy. Focusing on breathing and practicing yoga poses can calm momentary anxiety and depression by giving the mind a peaceful focus and re-energizing the body. It might even increase production of serotonin, the brain chemical that experts believe is deficient in people with depression. A regular yoga therapy practice over the long term significantly improve mood and reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Better Sleep

The occasional sleepless night, while annoying, is no big deal. Chronic insomnia however, can pose a serious threat to your health. Researchers from Harvard found that eight weeks of daily yoga significantly improved sleep quality for people with insomnia by lowering stress levels, calming the mind and relieving tension in the body, the soothing practice can be an effective natural sleep remedy.

Increased Fitness

Yoga’s focus on strength training and flexibility is an incredible benefit for your body. As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. Plus, Yoga includes many weight baring poses, which can help strengthen your skeleton and prevent illnesses including osteoporosis.

Pain Prevention

With all the stresses of daily life, many people suffer from some sort of stiffness or pain in their bodies. If you’re looking for an alternative to pills to treat joint pain, back pain and other common (and uncomfortable) aches, relief may be a yoga class away. Yoga can also help reduce the frequency of migraine headaches, according to research published in the journal Headache in 2007. Some researchers believe that yoga may alleviate pain through relaxation and the release of endorphins. Others say it may reduce inflammation and promote positive
emotions.

Boost Sexual Performance

Studies have found that 12 weeks of yoga can improve sexual desire, arousal, performance, confidence, orgasm and satisfaction for both men and women. On a purely physical level, many yoga poses — such as Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Legged Straddle Pose) — increase blood flow to the pelvis and genital area, which is important for arousal and erections. Yoga also helps reduce anxiety, increase body awareness and even speed the release of hormones that rev arousal. All of that translates to a boost in libido, lubrication and ability to achieve orgasm.

Tips:

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities for different purposes, choosing one of those styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Yoga isn’t supposed to hurt. If you feel pain, stop. If the pain persists, see your health care provider.

If you are interested in learning yoga, this video may be useful: How To Stretch for Beginners, Safe Stretches for Full Body Yoga, Back & Leg Pain Relief

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