The origins of yoga remain something of a mystery to modern day practitioners and teachers; created in Northern India between 5,000-10,000 years ago, the practice of uniting physical, mental and spiritual well being through breathing exercises, physical poses, and meditation has become a beloved way of life for countless people across the globe.
From Power Yoga and Ashtanga, to Hatha or lyengar, yoga offers those who practice the opportunity to strengthen the mind and body in unison. If you are keen about yoga and would like to learn more about its real benefits, here’s an in-depth look at some real yoga benefits for your health and wellness.
It makes you more flexible
Not only is Yoga of great benefit to the mind, it also challenges the body to gain flexibility through practicing different poses, which are referred to as asanas. The poses are designed to target and stretch specific muscles throughout the body, which, in turn, enables you to have better movement and increased suppleness following a practice. This is why we tend to feel less tired and stiff after a good yoga routine.
Whether you are a beginner at yoga, or you already follow an advanced practice, you will be able to observe the benefits it brings to your flexibility. In a recent study, for instance, it was found that people were able to improve their flexibility by as much as 35% after just eight weeks of following a regular yoga practice.
Whether you’re a beginner or not, receiving expert guidance will provide a strong foundation on which to develop and grow your practice. If you’re based in the Midlands, check out upcoming classes and sessions for yoga in Oxford.
It makes you stronger
Yoga utilises the body’s own weight in order to strengthen our muscles; many of the poses used during a traditional practice, such as the dolphin pose, the downward dog, and the plank, can build a great deal of strength in the upper body.
Similarly, standing poses such as the warrior and extended triangle are held for several long breaths, and will also serve to build your strength — particularly in the quadriceps, abs, and hamstrings. There are also poses that can make your lower back stronger, and these include the chair pose and the upward dog pose. When performed properly, yoga poses will build strength from deep within your core — an improvement you will feel both on the mat, and when you have left it for the day.
It helps you gain better posture
With increased strength and flexibility, your posture will also improve tremendously. Since many of the sitting and standing poses used in yoga develop your core strength, they help you to establish a strong and solid foundation that will serve you in your everyday life.
If you have a stronger and more robust core, then you will begin to feel more capable of standing ‘taller’, and getting into the habit of sitting correctly, too. Additionally, with yoga, you become more aware of your body, and this helps you note more quickly if you are in a slumping or slouching position, and to adjust your posture more easily.
Yoga also has benefits to breathing and contributes to better heart health, but there are plenty of other advantages to it that are just becoming known. If you want to live better and feel better, yoga is worth looking into – and your mind and body will definitely thank you for it as well.