Yoga: 8 Reasons Why You Should Try It


Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline which includes breath control, meditation, and flexible bodily postures. It is widely practiced and beneficial for health and relaxation. Yoga has its origin in India 1000s years ago.

Yoga main aim is to transform body and mind, physically, mentally and spiritually. More than 90 percent of people come to yoga for flexibility, stress relief, health, and physical fitness. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

Some people -- it may even you -- find yoga as a boring only-for-old-people kind of exercise that just won’t suit you. Well, may this article about how yoga can be beneficial for you change your perspective about this exercise.

Ease Migraines

The cause of migraines could be a combination of mental stressors and physical misalignment that create migraines and other issues. Hunching over a computer or cell phone with your shoulders up and head forward causes overlifting of your trapezius and tightening of the neck. This pulls the head forward and creates muscle imbalances that can contribute to headaches and migraines. Research shows that migraine sufferers have fewer and less painful migraines after three months of yoga practice.

Sleep Better

Sleep issues are like anxiety. Your head can’t stop spinning, you don’t know how to relax. Yoga helps to relax the nervous system, which is the part of your body responsible for a restful sleep. Yoga’s meditative aspect comes into play to quiet the mind. If a racing mind is what keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep, then performing yoga at any point during the day may offer you some relief. So, say goodbye those sleeping pills!

Boost Emotional Health

Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress, which is known to have devastating effects on the body and mind. A study from Duke University Medical Center suggested that yoga could benefit those living with depression, schizophrenia, other psychiatric conditions, and sleep problems. Practicing yoga in a group setting stimulates the production of oxytocin, the love and bonding hormone. Practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation also results in higher serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).

Improve Flexibility

Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. When you take your first yoga class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, let alone tuck your feet behind your head. If you don’t keep your body conditioned to do such movements, then it won’t be able to. Overtime your muscles will atrophy and your joints will settle into a limited range of motion. Stick with the movements, though, and you will gradually notice your body loosening up, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.

Better Posture

Poor posture can cause backaches, neck pain, joint problems, and muscle fatigue. As you slump, your body may compensate by flattening the normal inward curves in your neck and lower back. This can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine. Yoga is one of the best ways to fix poor posture since each pose aims to get your body back into proper alignment without forcing you into unnatural positions.

Boost Immunity

A weakened immune system can stem from a variety of things such as lack of sleep, chronic stress, and poor digestion. Yoga can stimulate the four main physiological systems that are linked to your immune system -- the circulatory, digestive, nervous, and endocrine systems. A recent Norwegian study found that yoga practice results in changes in gene expression that boost immunity at a cellular level. As you breathe better, move better and circulate better, all the other organs function better.

Better Respiration

During your first yoga class, you will quickly realize that breathing methods (pranayama) are a major part of this discipline. Yogis tend to take fewer breaths of greater volume, which is both calming and more efficient.
Yoga promotes breathing through the nose, which filters the air, warms it, and humidifies it, removing pollen and dirt and other things you’d rather not take into your lungs. It is great for people who are suffering from any sort of respiratory ailment or condition. It can help open up a person’s airways and gets their lungs to function more effectively.

Weight Loss

Yoga can help boost your metabolism and build stronger muscles, two things that are essential for weight loss. Yoga also helps you to fight food cravings. Regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating, an awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating. If you start to eat more whole, organic foods while performing a daily yoga routine you’ll be more likely to see the pounds come off quicker.

photo: greatist.com/

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