When you think of yoga, the image of young, slender, and flexible individuals come to mind. It’s an exercise that involves a lot of bending, twisting and stretching parts of your body you didn’t even know existed. That’s probably why many people are a bit intimidated by the thought of it, and are often very hesitant to pursue yoga.
But yoga is more than a bunch of complicated pretzel positions and humming; there are some major benefits of yoga that can really help you achieve your fitness goals.
Yoga first originated in ancient India thousands of years ago in the BC period. The goal every person has when doing yoga is to reach a state of physical, mental and spiritual discipline. This is done through relaxation and meditation, which often helps you to achieve the sometimes difficult positions.
The major benefits of yoga hit all three states of discipline and can help to enhance the quality of life as well as improve your state of mind.
Here are just a few of the benefits of yoga,
1) A well known benefit of yoga, would be flexibility. Many people who start off aren’t able to touch their head to their knees. Yoga helps to strengthen, lengthen and relax your muscles and tendons which eventually result in increase flexibility. Next thing you know, you’ll be able to put both your legs behind your head no problem.
2) It’s definitely one of the proven ways to decrease stress in your life. The breathing, the humming, the stretching and the meditating are all factors that will help you forget about your troubles. There’s nothing like a physical activity that’s so calming, it literally melts your sorrows away. In addition, low stress levels can also result in lower BPs.
3) Improved concentration and focus in and out of the yoga class are also benefits of yoga. It helps you to condition your mind in many ways. One of which is by meditating. Meditation can refer to focusing on your breathing, concentrating on the movements, or centering your inner peace. All are great skills that can also benefit you at home, school, work and the hussle and bussle of everyday.
4) Not only does yoga strengthen the mind, but also the body. Many yoga positions require involvement from all your muscles, both big and small. There’s a lot of lifting your different body parts, balancing and shifting your weight and using your limbs to support your entire body. Over time, you will notice an increase in strength as well as more defined and toned muscles.
5) Yoga is a great technique for injury and pain prevention. Since your muscles are frequently being stretched and strengthened, the chances of getting a sprain or injuring a muscle decreases. This will also help to enhance your overall performance when engaging in physically demanding activities such as sports.
In addition to the list above, there are many more physiological and psychological benefits one can achieve from doing yoga. No matter what age, gender or status a person is; yoga can be a part of your every day exercise regime. It’s just one of many ways to achieve optimal health in all aspects of your life.
I recommend people try yoga and see if it can help them because there is so much you can get from it. Also I strongly believe that if athletes did more yoga they would have less injuries and be in peak performance longer. As an athlete being able to maintain your level of performance over long periods of time is crucial.