Yoga has grown quite popular in the last decade. Celebrities like Adam Levine, Victoria and David Beckham and even the Queen Bee herself (Beyoncé) perform this power exercise and they swear by it. Regular people like us who are not in the spotlight have also come to like yoga as a stress release or a preferred workout, which is great because yoga is not only an exercise for the body, but it is also an exercise for the mind.
Yoga Basic Facts
Fact #1 – Yoga is for everyone.
You don’t have to be a famous superstar to do yoga. This is not a for-celebrities-only type of exercise. If you have the will and you want to do it, you simply can! There’s kids’ yoga, seniors’ yoga and different kinds of yoga to fit your exercise desire. It can even be a family thing for you – doing yoga with your spouse and kids. This can enhance your family bond while working out together for physical fitness.
Fact #2 – You can choose your own yoga style.
You can choose from the many variations in yoga. There is no one-size-fits-all type of requirement when it comes to this activity. Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Kundalini yoga, Bikram yoga, Iyengar yoga and Hatha yoga are some popular yoga variations. Each style has its own series of movements and benefits.
Fact #3 – Flexibility in yoga will come.
Don’t worry about your flexibility level at this time. As you go on with the yoga exercise of your choice, your body will eventually become more flexible. Just follow the movements and the breathing – that’s the important part anyway.
Now, what makes yoga a great exercise for the body and mind?
As a workout program, others who understand its true purpose consider it as a way of life. When they walk, there is yoga. If they sit, drink, eat and think – there is yoga. In fact, the meaning of the Sanskrit word “yoga” is “to unite”. Yoga can be anywhere and everywhere as long as the mind and body are united through the bracing of the muscles while focus and concentration are practiced to achieve inner calmness, together.
Deep… I know. What is important is that you understand how yoga is beneficial for you. In short, yoga can relieve you of stress. Some stay-at-home mothers say that yoga saved them from going insane because being a full-time parent is really stressful at times! Yoga can also help in reducing anxiety issues. It can take away your worries and make you feel hopeful. Solutions to problems arise after a quick downward dog with child’s pose and deep breathing. This is true. Yoga will always make you feel better about yourself.
Anyway, here is a more vivid explanation of why it helps enhance physical and mental health.
Physical Health Benefits
1. Improve your body strength.
The skeletal system which includes the bones and the muscles are all working together every time you perform a yogic pose. This means that various muscles are being used and when practiced regularly, it begins to develop and strengthen. It will also increase your endurance. You’d be surprised at how stable your body is when you decide to increase your exercise level.
2. As already mentioned, yoga can make you flexible.
You will be stretching your joints, bones, and muscles all the time during your yoga workout and that’s the main reason why yoga can make you flexible, eventually.
3. Muscle toning is one of the benefits of yoga.
Have you seen Adam Levine? He wasn’t sculpted before. Adam was thin and had no muscles. If the wind blew hard, he’d be blown away. But through yoga, he transformed his body into solidity, flexibility, and endurance. He is much toned even if he is slim.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Yoga provides relief from stress.
When the body is stressed, it produces an overload of cortisol – this makes the person have bad moods, feel fatigued, and get depressed. Through the breathing techniques and concentrated movements of yoga, cortisol is lessened significantly. With this, the person will feel relieved and serene.
2. Yoga taps on a person’s cognitive function.
In yoga, a person is being trained how to breathe through the nostrils, one nostril at a time. It may seem impossible but this really happens. And when a person does that, the cognitive part of the brain begins to light up and it signals the whole brain to function together. Studies have proven this – yoga and improved brain function.
3. Yoga promotes self-awareness.
Another great thing about yoga is the way it assists someone in managing mental pain. It gives the person a sense of self-awareness and conditions the mind that it has to get better. With that, the person will want to resort to curative measures if he has mental issues.
These are just some of the ways on how yoga is good for your physical and mental health. Research more on the type of yoga exercises and try it. You may come to like how it makes you feel like a better person overall.