Yoga is an ancient philosophy which was born in India, thousands of years ago. Its purposes are multiple, from attaining enlightenment to increasing one's #mindfulness. Did you know it also has tremendous health benefits?
Yoga is not for you. You’ve been to a class and it was slow, and long, and not physically entertaining for your body. You wanted a workout and sweat and muscle pain and standing on your head, instead, you got boredom, frustration, sleepy eyes and awkward internal laughs. I know, because I experienced the exact same thing before!
It could mean three things : you didn’t find the right yoga for you, you plainly don’t enjoy yoga (which is very unlikely, I assure you!) or maybe you don’t see the point of practicing yoga. I mean, there are, of course, tons of reasons to practice yoga and they can be very personal, and it is amazing like that. But, here is a very good one that everyone can relate to : yoga is good for the physical health! In this article, let me inspire you right now, and tell you about 4 direct, instantly noticeable positive effects of yoga on your physical well-being.
1, Stress management
There’s many ways yoga helps managing that old fart of a stress following us around, and it is not because yoga is relaxing (I mean, it is, if you want it to be, but that is not the main idea). Here are two simple, noticeable ways yoga helps dealing with stress. First, by bringing your awareness back to you, to your breath, to your body, to the now, yoga shuts up the outside and inside noises, giving your spinning mind a well deserved rest. Second, it gives you incredible tools to get away from the sadly instinctive fight or flight reaction that we generally have when stumbling upon a stressful event. Such tools include breathing exercises, meditation and an ancient, incredibly rich philosophy.
2. Muscle pain ease
Who hasn’t experience muscle tightness at least once (or twice, or a hundred times…)? You can choose to deal with the pain induced by tight muscles different ways like massage, acupuncture or pills. But you should definitely consider yoga! By making you move your body in a different, deliberate, slow way, the yoga teacher can target specific muscles or muscle groups in order to sooth different fuzzy-sensitive-agonizing spots. I heard it many times when teaching and I have experienced it myself. Plus, yoga could give you amazing tricks to try at home to prolong the yummy effects.
3. Strength, balance and flexibility increase
Another very rapidly notable health benefit of yoga is the improvement of vital musculoskeletal functions such as strength, balance and flexibility. I don’t imply that being able to lift 100 pounds of iron, or standing on the head or doing the split is vital. I imply that the human body needs a minimum of muscle mass, sense of equilibrium and tissue elasticity in order to maintain its physical health. These three factors are crucial for longevity of the body and for it to continue striving as the years go by. Sustaining a healthy upright posture, being able to tie your shoes, avoiding a hunched back and easily getting out of bed in the morning without falling are all results of these three secret yoga ruses to be and feel younger, longer.
4. Sleep quality improvement
Sleep deprivation is certainly a tremendous source of physical un-well being, affecting not only the body and organ functions, but also our mental capacities and even weight management. Practicing yoga helps the body to enter more easily in a state of blissfully calm-sweet sleep. By using different sequences of body postures, in an either fast and strong or very slow and mellow pace, the teacher can induce toxins releases and a state of beautiful and serene fatigue. By using meditation and other mindfulness exercises throughout the class, the teacher will make your nervous system to shut her big blabby mouth up for a little while, therefore making even your brain relax and anxious-spins free. These can only be helpful for having a good night sleep later on.
Here you are, four amazing, rapidly noticeable effects that yoga has on a physical health perspective. Maybe some of these are noted to be more intensely accurate than others, depending on the person, but I know that they are all true. I have experienced all of these myself, and students and other yogis in my surroundings have also reported similar benefits. Moreover, I know that yoga is more and more prescribed by health experts and doctors as a way to support overall health! Isn’t it magical or what!?
So, is yoga for you? How has yoga helped you in your wellbeing journey?