Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation or relaxation. It has been practised for thousands of years in India and has become increasingly popular around the world in recent decades. Whereas once it was practised in small studios or halls, now a choice of classes are found in most gyms and studios.
We are constantly told that Yoga is “good for us “ and that we should do it. But what are the actual health benefits of doing yoga from a physical and mental point of view ?
Yoga can help to improve not only flexibility, but your strength and balance. The different poses in Yoga enable you to stretch and lengthen the muscle, and to help to open the joints, increasing your range of motion.
It also builds strength, as many poses require you to support your body weight.
Yoga brings awareness into our body and our alignment , which in turn helps us to improve our posture.
Yoga has been shown to help to reduce back pain, arthritic pain and headaches, by allowing the body to stretch and strengthen in a mindful way, and combining with the relaxation and breathwork.
Mental and emotional Wellbeing
Yoga is a great tool to reduce stress , help to manage anxiety and to improve concentration and focus.
It can also help emotional balance and to help to develop a more positive outlook. By combining the breathwork, meditation and bringing awareness inwards during the class brings a real sense of balance and calm.
Creating stillness and space in our mind is much needed in our hectic lives. The breathing and relaxation techniques used in class can be used throughout the day to help maintain calm and reduce stress.
Apart from these benefits, yoga has also been shown to improve balance and coordination, strengthen the immune system, increase bone density, reduce the risk of falls, increase energy levels, and have better sleep quality.
It really has stood the test of time, and there is a reason its popularity continues to grow.