Taking into consideration the fact that there are over 5,000 years since yoga has begun being practiced and also that nowadays there are approximately 11 million people only in the U.S. that follow yoga classes, it cannot be said any longer than yoga is simply a trend. The reason for which yoga is so popular all over the world is because, besides its ability to keep people fit and relaxed, it also has numerous health benefits.
One of the greatest advantages that you can take advantage of from doing yoga is that this is able to improve your flexibility. The yoga poses series known under the name of asanas can stretch your muscles in a safe manner. In turn, the stretching has the ability to release the lactic acid built up because of muscle use that causes you to feel pain, stiffness, fatigue or tension. Moreover, yoga also has the ability to increase the joints’ motion range, of increasing joints’ lubrication and of giving you that sense of fluidity and ease through your entire body.
In case you want to improve your muscle tone, you should know that by practicing yoga you can easily do this as well. Power or Ashtanga are vigorous yoga styles, the reason for which your muscles can truly benefit from them. Hatha or Iyengar Yoga are less dynamic, but they can provide in turn endurance and strength. Standing poses can help you build strength in the abdominal muscles, quadriceps or hamstrings, while plank poses and dog poses can build up your upper-body strength. Your posture can also be improved by doing yoga.
As yoga involves a mindful and deep breathing, it can also improve your lung’s capacity. In turn, this can improve endurance and sports performance. In addition, due to the fact that most yoga forms lengthen and deepen your breath in time, the relaxation response can be stimulated this way.
Nowadays, stress is a common reason for people getting sick. However, as yoga is known to mean more calm and less stress, it can also combat this as well. Even yoga beginners feel more relaxed after participating in their first yoga class. This is because there a lot of yoga styles that use certain meditation techniques in order to quiet down the constant chattering that happens in people’s mind. This way, the mind is able to calm down and to relieve stress, which in turn can be very beneficial for you. The explanation of this phenomenon lays in the fact that while doing yoga your body responds in a biochemical way, meaning that it decreases the so-called catecholamine, a hormone produced as a response to stress. In addition, yoga practicing also lowers the epinephrine, the dopamine, and the norepinephrine neurotransmitters which in turn also creates a sensation of peacefulness.
Another benefit of doing yoga is the fact that this can increase the ability of mental focusing and of concentrating. Moreover, yoga can also improve practitioners’ mood and determine people to feel happier. It can also have a beneficial effect on depression, due to the fact that yoga boosts the brain’s oxygen levels. In addition, although there are no real proofs of this up until now, it is said that by practicing yoga the symptoms of OCD can be relieved as well.
However, one of yoga’s most praised benefits is that it can slow heart rates and also lower blood pressure. Slower heart rates can be very beneficial for people suffering from heart diseases. Besides, yoga is also known to boost the immune system and to decrease the triglyceride and the cholesterol levels. Yoga may also offer benefits to people suffering from arthritis, asthma or severe back pain, multiple sclerosis, and insomnia.
Furthermore, there are some recent studies that have managed to discover the fact that yoga might have positive effects on memory and on learning. It can also improve practitioners’ energy levels and improve their self-esteem and self-acceptance. Although there are not any actual proof for this, some say that yoga is also able to increase people’s spiritual awareness. Nonetheless, the powers of yoga depend on the practitioners’ attitude and on the way they perceive it. While others might just admit the fact that yoga relaxes and calms them down, some can state that yoga can also improve their work and marriage relationships.