Yoga is an ancient eastern practice that combines mental meditation with physical stretches to help improve both mind and body. Due to the increase of mental stress and decrease of physical activity in the modern world, yoga has become an increasingly popular way to work on both the physical and mental aspects of the individual. The following are five reasons that you should take up yoga.
1. Improve Flexibility – When you first begin practicing yoga you will probably notice some difficulty getting from one position to another. This is due to a lack of flexibility in your body. Increasing your flexibility by practicing yoga will result not only in an improved sense of well-being, it will also reduce the chances of muscle and back injuries.
2. Improve Breathing – You probably don’t give too much thought to how you breathe, after all, it’s a natural, instinctive process of the body. The meditative qualities of yoga teach you to focus on your breathing. Improving the way you breathe allows you to make better use of your lungs. This means that you won’t tire as quickly and that you’ll have more energy throughout the day. It can also help clear your nasal passages and even have calming effects on the central nervous system. Learning to breathe better will have a positive effect on both your physical and mental well-being.
3. Improve Strength – When you are moving from one posture to another, you are using many of your muscles. In fact, just holding different postures for a certain amount of time will help strengthen different portions of your body. You’re basically lifting the weight of your body each time you adjust to another position, and holding that weight up for the duration of that period. Yoga is not only a great way to improve your strength; it’s also a great way to lose weight.
4. Reduce Stress – The act of meditation and the simple task of focusing on physical positioning helps to calm the mind. One aspect of yoga is that the individual practicing it must empty his or her mind from all outside influences. This is a great way to clear your head and just not worry about life while you practice yoga. The result? The break you gave to your brain reduces your stress out in the real world, and gives you a much calmer and more positive outlook on life.
5. Improve Mental Health – Reducing stress through meditation is not the only mental benefit of practicing yoga. Studies have shown that practicing yoga can result in an improvement in concentration, attention, learning efficiency and memory as well as reducing anxiety and depression. Individuals who practice yoga even have an easier time falling asleep than those who don’t!
These are five reasons why you should begin practicing yoga. There are too many mental and physical benefits involved to ignore, and it only takes up a little bit of your time. Start by practicing yoga 45 minutes to an hour a day, three to five times a week, and you’ll take notice of the benefits almost immediately.