8 Reasons Why Yoga is So Good For You
Historically yoga was more than just a method of teaching; it was a way of life. You dedicated yourself to a lifestyle and culture that surpassed meditation techniques and included healthy eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction and work. Its philosophy is rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is still emphasised today at yoga retreats and explains why over 15 million people in the world now practise this ancient tradition source.
Every yoga asana (pose) has a different name and includes standing postures, seated twists, backbends, arm balances, inversions and core holds. The downward facing dog for example, is in itself said to calm the brain, energise the body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs and be therapeutic for high blood pressure. Whilst these benefits come as a given with most postures, the practise of yoga as a whole provides many more benefits than you might think…
1. Lowers stress and improves your mood
Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques, which focus the mind on your breathing to quieten the constant ‘mind chatter’, relieves stress and allow you to feel relaxed. Practising these breathing techniques on a yoga and meditation retreat can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.
2. Boosts confidence
Aside from the uplifting spiritual values, the act of meditation can actually boost your confidence. The process works by releasing tension from your mind, so that you can feel confident about your physical body. Without any forms of anxiety, you are able to establish an internal connection with yourself. This is consequently reflected in your perception of others and will help to better your relationships by improving compassion and awareness.
3. Lowers the risk of injury
Exercise such as running is usually a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise also engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups, whereas yoga concentrates on balancing this activity.
4. Helps you lose weight
Being overweight is a sign that there are imbalances in your everyday life and one major contributor to weight gain is excess stress. Practising yoga enables you to bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind, helping you to de-stress and allowing you to lose weight naturally.
5. Increases flexibility
People often say that they are not flexible enough to do yoga. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how tight your muscles are as yoga asanas works by safely stretching your muscles and help you to practise it further. Moreover, yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.
6. Improves muscle tone and strength
Many yoga asanas have a profound effect on your upper body strength, such as the downward and upward dog, whilst the plank focuses on your core. Likewise, standing poses strengthen your upper leg muscles and lower back. Essentially any pose will strengthen an area of the body if it is practised in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups.
7. Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure
If you practise yoga consistently, your lung capacity will increase as a result of the deep breathing process. This will then have a positive effect on more intense sports that you might be a part of, increasing your stamina and endurance. Furthermore, meditation and calming yoga asanas slow down your heart rate which in turn lowers blood pressure and have also been linked with improving the immune system and lowering cholesterol.
8. Improves your posture
By practising yoga you maintain a healthier weight, become more flexible and improve your muscle tone and strength. You will find that your posture will greatly improve because of this. Your abdominals and back muscles can now fully support your weight and you will be able to sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains.
Aid Posture With Flat Ballet shoes from After Party Pumps
Wearing high heels regularly has been documented to affect natural balance and posture, so take care of your tootsies by popping a pair of fold up shoes in your handbag when hitting the town this weekend, or when up on your feet all day at work.
Sale Now On – Free UK Shipping on all Fold Up Shoes
Every month we highlight a selection of our exclusive shoes in a bag at a discounted price. Grab a bargain from just £5.95 with FREE UK shipping!
- Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides.
- Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.
- Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
- Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
- Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Hold for 3 full breaths.
- Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
- Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
- Bend right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand. Stay for 1 minute.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- Stand with arms at sides.
- Shift weight onto left leg and place sole of right foot inside left thigh, keeping hips facing forward.
- Once balanced, bring hands in front of you in prayer position, palms together.
- On an inhalation, extend arms over shoulders, palms separated and facing each another. Stay for 30 seconds.
- Lower and repeat on opposite side.
- Make it easier: Bring your right foot to the inside of your left ankle, keeping your toes on the floor for balance. As you get stronger and develop better balance, move your foot to the inside of your left calf.
Stretches chest and thighs; extends spine
- Lie on floor with knees bent and directly over heels.
- Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale, then press feet into floor as you lift hips.
- Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
- Make it easier: Place a stack of pillows underneath your tailbone.
Comments are closed