Most of us are aware that yoga is beneficial, but do we really know what its benefits include? Or we’re just flowing with the tide? All that we’ve known about yoga’s benefits is from hearing our yoga-enthusiast friend speak of it. And they use terms like zen, mindfulness, and whatnot, which we might not think to be achievable. However, experts say that the benefits of yoga can be reaped as soon as by the end of the first session.
Why take up yoga?
That one thing was enough to have piqued your interest, wasn’t it? Since many of us haven’t had the first-hand experience of these benefits, it is easy to disregard them. But if you listen to the people around you who have been into it for some time now, they swear that there is nothing better than yoga. Sure, it all looks intimidating, and some poses might even seem as complicated as rocket science, but all you need to do is start! To better understand why you and your loved ones should be putting some of your very important time into this practice, we have listed some common benefits of yoga here.
Yoga and kids’ health
Yoga poses are not as uncomplicated as simply standing or sitting and can be challenging. They require twisting and turning of the body in various positions, and yoga poses target numerous muscles throughout the body to provide kids with a workout that proves beneficial if started at a young age. Yoga promotes the knowledge of the body, its functionality, and its ability and makes children more aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
Balance is one of the most important learnings of yoga, and the poses incorporated in yoga lessons promote awareness and the ability to balance our bodies in various ways. Learning to focus on balancing the body helps kids develop their mental and physical capabilities. Standing on a single foot might feel like a feat in the beginning, but your kid is learning much more than the physical act of balancing by doing this. They are learning how to poise and position themselves and focus their mental energy on what they are currently practicing. Balance also promotes coordination, enabling kids to walk, sit, or carry out other physical activities without frequently stumbling.
When practicing yoga poses and focusing their mental and physical energy on performing the exercise, kids are training their brains to concentrate. This clears the mind of distractions and trains them to concentrate singularly on the task at hand. As a result, studies show that children who practice yoga and learn balancing poses perform better at school, which means yoga benefits not only the body and mind but also children’s academics.
Mastering yoga poses isn’t an easy job; it requires patience, perseverance, and dedication to practice and perfect these poses. When finally achieved, it can instill kids with the confidence of achieving their goals when they put enough effort into it. This confidence can help children overcome their fear of performing poorly in activities at school and focus on their achievements instead.
Yoga and adult health
For adults, yoga provides a range of benefits to improve both physical and mental health.
Benefits of yoga – Physical
Ever witnessed a yoga class in motion? Although the poses practiced might not match the intensity or pace of the sessions at the gym, they sure require flexibility. However, if you, like most of us, lack the quality as an adult, fret not. One of the key benefits of yoga is flexibility. Regular and disciplined yoga practice is sure to gift you flexibility, and keeping at it is sure to increase it too. And with that, eventually, you’ll be effortlessly practicing poses you deemed impossible in the beginning. Additionally, all the stretching, turning, and twisting exercises help rid you of the aches and pains. The gradual results you obtain in how yoga benefits you will surely surprise you in the long run, and you’ll even notice your posture and dexterity improving.
Although not an immediate yoga benefit, your strength increases with regular practice. Yoga receives considerable credit for its mental benefits, but not much credit is granted when it comes to the physical benefits of yoga. The fact that yoga helps improve body strength is not well acknowledged, but it cannot be disregarded altogether. Some yoga poses instigate the same muscle activity as exercises like crunches and push-ups do, and continued practice results in noticeably increased muscle mass, stamina, and strength of the body.
- Weight loss
Studies show that yoga can benefit those trying to lose weight. The key to weight loss is activity and calorie burning, both of which can be achieved while practicing yoga. Agreed that fast-paced exercises give you more visible and faster weight loss results than yoga, but it does not discredit this slow-paced, calming activity from being an effective means of losing the extra pounds. It is also used in combination with cardio or other high-intensity exercises. Plus, yoga aids the maintenance of a healthy number on the scale.
Research suggests that the long list of how yoga benefits the body also includes an improved sex drive in adults. Various yoga positions are said to reverse the effects of aging on a person’s libido. With regular practice, adults can achieve better experience and satisfaction in their sexual endeavors.
Yoga uses exercises called pranayamas to help improve breathing. In our day-to-day chaos, we do not give breathing the importance and attention it deserves, and as a result, our breathing is shallow and rapid. This affects the quality of not only the air we take in but also that of our life. Poor breathing is known to affect the lungs, and, in turn, the body receives poor oxygen supply. Yoga prevents the development of various ailments by improving your breathing and helps you live a better, fuller life.
Benefits of yoga – Mental
Among the top benefits of yoga is the reduction of stress. In the rat race that is today’s life, most individuals suffer from numerous ailments as a result of excessive stress. Stress can arise in relation to various and numerous aspects of life, but it can be reduced with the help of yoga. When practicing yoga, you are required to concentrate on your breathing pattern. This helps focus your energy on the task at hand and move away from the thoughts that plague your mind all through the day. Additionally, yoga benefits the nervous system by relieving the stress that weighs people down.
A clenched jaw, tight shoulders, and a creased forehead are some of the most common physical manifestations of stress. Some yoga poses that stimulate the mind, as well as the muscles, are also beneficial in relieving the body from the physical symptoms of stress. Yoga benefits the body and mind and improves overall well-being by relieving the stress that has built up over time.
Depression is more common than any of us would like to think, and coping with this mental condition is an important benefit of yoga. Yoga is among the top practices that help people deal with depressive disorders, as it helps soothe the senses and find peace of mind. The various yoga poses and breathing exercises also elevate energy levels, encouraging one to stay happy.
Yoga is a known promoter of overall well-being and helps relieve stress and maintain calmness. These are also the reasons why trauma survivors opt to practice the activity. It enables them to relieve themselves of the effects of the traumatic experience from their past and focus on happy and wholesome thoughts. It promotes mindfulness and helps instigate a better connection with oneself.
Yoga imparts physical and mental relaxation, which is said to be extremely beneficial for sleeping like a baby. Practicing some gentle or easy yoga postures as a pre-bedtime routine can promote good sleep and is especially recommended for people with insomnia. It is said to be an effective remedy for insomnia and for people who have trouble falling asleep. It calms the mind and body and makes it easier for a person to transition into dreamland.
The calm that one experiences as a result of practicing yoga helps eliminate anxiety, but the process of how this happens has not been mapped out as of yet. It has been observed that in addition to the physical benefits of this activity, there are numerous ways yoga benefits you mentally. The list of all the physical and mental benefits of yoga is enough to convince anyone to start practicing the activity.
Apart from this list, yoga has scores of benefits. People suffering from heart diseases have been studied and observed to do better with the regular practice of yoga. Besides, people with health issues like diabetes, asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), chronic pain, and other illnesses can also be benefited if they keep at it.
Apart from physical and mental well-being, yoga provides a series of cosmetic benefits and is beneficial for skin and hair health. Disciplined and consistent yoga practice is said to provide anti-aging benefits and keeps your skin youthful and glowing.
It won’t be wrong to say that yoga is one of the few activities that take care of the overall being of an individual. It is relevant in every aspect of life, right from physical to spiritual.
Now that you’re pumped to start practicing yoga after having toured through the list of its benefits, here are some online applications that can guide you through the process:
- Daily yoga
With a long ledger of yoga asanas, guided classes, meditation sessions, and workout plans, this app is a boon for anyone trying to find their footing in the world of yoga. If you’re looking for guidance to lead a healthier life, you can turn to Daily Yoga and begin your journey. The app is equipped with step-by-step guidance workouts and has different intensity levels that you can choose from. You can also set your schedule, and the app will remind you daily to get in your hour or so of activity before you lose yourself into the routine. Additionally, the app can be synced with your smart wearables and is available in various languages. After all, why should language be a barrier to your learnings?
- Find What feels Good: Yoga with Adriene
Adriene gained fame for her yoga practice and lessons on YouTube, and there has been no looking back for her since then. The famous tuber went on to launch her own website and application and has since helped thousands fulfill their goals to lead a healthier lifestyle. The quality of the videos and lessons are sure to help you keep up with your practice, and the instructions are clear as the day. With Adriene herself instructing you through the lessons, it is bound to feel like a one-on-one class that comes with a far steeper rate of benefits than the subscription you will be paying.
- Asana Rebel
If you are too fond of your cardio routine but also want to make way for yoga, Asana Rebel is your savior. One of the highest-rated applications for yoga practice out there, Asana Rebel flawlessly combines both your favorite forms of exercise: yoga and HIIT. You can even find workouts that are body-part centric and help you tackle one target at a time. Not to mention, you can cool down, relax, or sleep to some calming music that can be easily found in the app.
Now that you have read enough about how yoga benefits you and know of some helpful apps that can guide you through the activity, it is time to get started. Put on your yoga pants and experience the zen only yoga can help you achieve! As you start your journey, remember that discipline and consistency are key to reaping the gazillion benefits of yoga. Only if you practice it regularly will you be able to bear all the benefits.