Five Ways Yoga Can Change Your Life
While it’s more than likely that you’ve only heard good things about yoga so far, you may not be fully aware of the benefits of a regular yoga practice. While a list of all of the benefits of yoga would likely fill dozens of pages, a few of the more “big picture” benefits are listed for you below:
- Yoga improves your overall physical health. A regular yoga practice provides dozens, if not hundreds, of health benefits to your body. For starters, it improves flexibility, balance, circulation, and muscle strength. Yoga also strengthens your bones, improves your posture, lowers your blood pressure, and boosts your immunity. Some studies have even shown evidence that yoga is an effective treatment for such conditions as asthma, type II diabetes, and various mental illnesses.
- Yoga builds self-esteem and reduces anxiety. Yogic philosophy teaches us that we are all manifestations of the Divine. If instead of viewing yoga as simply an exercise class or way to get in shape, you look at it more deeply as a path to self-discovery and self-improvement, you’ll discover that yoga strengthens and tones the mind to much the same extent as it does the body, if not more so. And because yoga has been found to both increase serotonin levels and decrease cortisol levels, you’ll find that it can oftentimes be an effective treatment for depression and other mental disorders.
- Yoga helps you focus and stay mindful. In addition to balance and flexibility, yoga also stresses the idea of mindfulness, or staying focused on the present moment. Breath is of the utmost importance in yoga, and many of the more challenging poses take a great deal of concentration to accomplish. Because of these factors, yoga can improve coordination, memory, reaction times, and even your IQ.
- Yoga gives you a better night’s sleep. Yoga tends to relax your entire system, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate while simultaneously increasing your blood flow, promoting a more calm and restorative overall mood. This gives your nervous system some much-needed downtime, in turn meaning that you are less tired, less stressed, and able to fall asleep faster and more easily at night.
- Yoga can open your heart to new and current relationships. Yoga promotes new friendships and strengthens your old and current ones. Taking a regular yoga class can put you in touch with inspiring teachers, as well as encourage valuable relationships with your fellow classmates. Many new yogis find that they leave class with much more than just the knowledge of a few new poses. And because the yogic philosophy inspires love, compassion, and understanding of our fellow humans, you may just find yourself starting to become more aware of how you fit into the bigger picture.