Did you know Americans practising yoga have increased by more than 200% in the last decade? Today, there are over 20 million people who practise yoga regularly.
Men are also buying into the exercise. More than 3.2 million men practice Yoga in America.
Yoga is one of the best types of exercise. Yoga benefits all people regardless of age. If you consider beginning yoga, your physical and mental health will improve.
You can take up yoga to improve your health, reduce stress levels, or build muscles. Yoga also helps in weight loss.
Buddalife has prepared the numerous ways you stand to benefit from yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago. It’s an exercise that combines breathing, movement, and meditation.
There are five main components to yoga: postures, breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), concentration (Dharana), and meditation (dhyana). Each component strengthens the practitioner in different ways.
Yoga aims to promote physical strength and mental calmness.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, however, it's only in the 20th century it has become popular in the United States.
According to the Yoga Journal, Americans who practised yoga increased from 20 million in 2012 to 36.7 million in 2016. Yoga is no longer just for the health nuts and spiritualists. It has reached out to those looking for a way to relax and relieve stress, thus we can see constant evolution in styles of yoga.
How to Practise Yoga
With the increased popularity of yoga, many people practise yoga every day. People take classes at local studios, gyms, or their homes. No matter where you choose to practice yoga, you stand to benefit.
It is quite easy to take up yoga at home or in the office. Yoga doesn't require ample space or complex equipment. All you need is a little space, some essential equipment, and of course, the determination to do yoga regularly.
It's true that it is easier to learn yoga when you have a teacher or join yoga classes. However, if you don't have access to one or looking to practice on your own, it is manageable. There are some things that you should keep in mind.
In some ways, yoga is like another language. If you don't have a grasp of the basics, your experience won't be as good. If you are familiar with what you are doing, you will relax and enjoy yourself fully.
A beginner should start by practising the primary series of yoga poses. Make sure not to rush through them, especially if you are new to yoga.
The most common mistake is going too fast. Also, not holding the pose for the required time may reduce yoga benefits.
Remember, you should never feel pain during practice, and you should always take your time. Listen to your body. If there is too much with a particular pose try another one.
For beginners, it’s commendable to avoid problematic poses.
Physical and Mental Benefits of Yoga
It's hard to think of an exercise more beneficial than yoga. Yoga can improve flexibility, balance, strength, and self-awareness, but have in mind that each type of yoga class and yoga style generally focus on one objective.
Yoga has a long list of health benefits, as it improves your mind, body, and soul. Here are some outstanding effects of yoga:
Helps you Relax and Unwind
In today's world, where people live under a lot of stress, yoga comes as a blessing. Yoga benefits are limitless. It not only helps you stay fit and healthy; it also keeps you calm and relaxed.
It should be more than just a physical activity when you begin practising yoga. One of the main benefits of yoga is that specific yoga postures combined with deep breathing it can help you relax and unwind, and it is a good stress management exercise. It is perfect for those looking to calm their mind after a long day at work.
Yoga requires physical and mental focus. Many people find this practice to be very calming and relaxing. It helps them leave behind their daily worries and problems.
When done regularly, yoga can bring about a sense of tranquillity.
If you are trying to unwind in the evening, try yoga.
Relieve Muscle and Back Pain
Do you wake up in the morning with a stiff neck and a sore back? Are you tired of spending money on over-the-counter pain medications that don’t really work?
You're not alone; millions of people are dealing with back and muscle issues.
Yoga shows promising results in relieving back pain and improving posture. It works at the core of the problem by loosening tight muscles. It also helps in releasing tension from strained muscles.
Yoga involves stretching, balancing, and breathing exercises to improve flexibility and posture while working in improving core muscle strength.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Yoga has a lot of physical and mental benefits. However, few people know how it helps reduce stress and anxiety.
The root of yoga is in the word "yoke," which means to unite. This is precisely what yoga does for you.
Yoga brings you together with your body and mind. You simultaneously get in touch with the present moment and into yourself.
Yoga is more than just stretching, although that is an important part of it. It’s also an exercise that focuses on giving you peace of mind. This is valuable in reducing stress and anxiety levels.
Research on yoga's impacts on mental health is optimistic. Yoga significantly reduces depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Yoga works through neurobiological and behavioural mechanisms to reduce stress.
Some experts recommend yoga as a support strategy for therapy in mental health improvement.
Meditation is a catalyst for inner peace and self-awareness. It helps you achieve mental clarity and better focus.
It teaches you how to meditate and focus on what you are doing. By learning ways to quiet your mind, you can take advantage of this to improve focus.
Mindfulness Yoga is designed to get you into the present moment. It focuses on breathing and uses different postures to enhance your mind-body connection. Think of it as meditation in motion.
A study found improvement in concentration after just eight weeks of practising Mindfulness Yoga.
Boosts Your Cognitive Ability
Practising Yoga induces changes in the brain. It enhances cognitive skills such as memory.
Yoga improves your brain functions in the following ways:
- Increased Brain Blood Flow
- Alterations in Brainwave Activity
- Improved Balance
Yoga helps the brain focus on poses and breathing exercises. Yoga also increases oxygen level and blood flow that helps to keep your brain active and alert.
Regular yoga practice is linked to performance enhancement, improved memory, and better mood.
Flexibility is a significant factor to consider when performing yoga. A flexible body is healthy, free from aches and pains. It can do various other activities effortlessly.
Yoga is a fun way to increase your flexibility.
You don't need to be fit for yoga. Anyone can take up this practice without worrying about the stress on their joints or muscles.
There are many different types of yoga, from Hatha to Ashtanga. Each style can make you more flexible.
Yoga Enhances Your Breathing
It’s an inescapable fact that breathing is the most important part of yoga. Without a good breath, it’s impossible to execute the poses correctly.
The key to successful yoga practice is pranayama. It is the practice of controlling and directing your breath.
Pranayama translates to "breath control" in Sanskrit. It's one of the oldest yogic practices that date back more than 4,000 years ago. Pranayama was first mentioned in the ancient Hindu text Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Yoga teaches you how to breathe deeply. This allows for more oxygen intake into the body. One of the central aims of yoga is to help you learn how to breathe deeply and calmly.
With regular practice, you can maintain this state even outside the class and in stressful situations.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Studies have also shown that yoga can be effective for cardiovascular health, improving your cardio fitness level as well.
Practicing yoga regularly helps control stress and heart disease. Stress can cause the body to release more norepinephrine. The hormone increases blood pressure, heart rate, and blood glucose levels.
Yoga reduces this stress hormone by 60%. This results in lower blood pressure, decreased risk of stroke and heart attack, and less body fat.
Improve Your Quality of Life with Yoga
With so many reasons to begin practicing yoga regularly, it's hard to understand why many people don't get started. Yoga is a great way to calm your body, mind, and spirit.
If you’re thinking about beginning yoga for the first time, you are about to improve your life. If you are already practicing but looking for some new ideas to spice up your routine, we got you.
Yoga can be intimidating for new practitioners. With proper guidance, you ace the breathing and stretching poses.
Buddalife creates a healthy and wellness community for all. We offer knowledge and products that can improve your yoga experience.