The first time I went to a yoga class, I had no idea what to expect.  Do I need to be flexible?  Am I going to sweat?  Is it going to be difficult? All of these questions flooded my mind as I walked into the yoga studio with a yoga mat in my hand.

It was definitely not what I was expecting.  I was sweating, and I did not expect to sweat.  It was difficult, and I did not expect it to be.  I was asked to pay attention to things that I had not paid attention to before, such as my breath and sensations in my body.

At the end of the practice, I wanted to improve enough to touch my toes!

Today, not only can I touch my toes, but my overall health has significantly improved.  Yoga is an excellent choice for developing a healthy mind and body, which largely impacts a positive well-being.

 

10 Health Benefits of Yoga

  1. Improved Mentality- Practicing yoga melts away any stresses that you are experiencing and as a result, makes you feel calmer and more relaxed.
  2. Better Posture- Yoga practice boosts your posture.  The slow methodical movements promote spinal alignment and assists in strengthening and straightening your back.  With the posture boost, back pain is reduced and breathing circulation improves.
  3. Increased Flexibility- The best physical benefit of yoga is improving your flexibility.  With this, you not only reduce the risk of injury during exercise but also improve the quality of your daily life.
  4. Healthier Blood- Some studies have shown that yoga practice enhances your blood circulation and relaxes blood vessels.  As a result, blood pressure is often lowered and vital organs receive a constant supply of oxygen.
  5. Improved Balance- Many yoga positions involve holding your body in place, which tests your balance.  Improving your balance not only increases your core stability but also helps isolate individual muscles effectively.
  6. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases- Yoga helps fight many chronic diseases in many ways.  First, enhancing blood flow improves overall health.  Second, practicing yoga naturally decreases stress levels which can be directly linked to chronic diseases.  Lastly, yoga improves physical health which studies have shown correlates to a decrease in chronic diseases.
  7. Enhanced Fat Loss – Choosing the right type of yoga can help you burn up to 600 calories.  Two of the most effective forms of calorie burning yoga are “Hot Yoga” and “Vinyasa Yoga”.
  8. Reduces Soreness- Yoga relaxes the entire body and helps loosen up joints and muscles.  The soothing effect of relaxing and loosening helps to alleviate pain and soreness.
  9. Enhanced Muscle Strength and Toning- Practicing yoga allows you to strengthen and tone muscles without adding size.  In addition, yoga assists to develop functional strength and endurance for everyday tasks that require some level of lifting.
  10. Better Breathing- The final benefit of yoga is that it opens up your chest, soothes respiratory disorders, and boosts the digestion process.

Practicing yoga is so much more than tying yourself up in knots and being able to touch your toes.  The overall mental, physical and emotional benefits are infinite.  Overall, yoga has the amazing capacity to heal you, help you function at your optimum level and make you much happier.