Workout freaks come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as Yoga. 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.
Every Yoga asana (pose) has a different name and includes standing postures, seated twists, backbends, arm balances, inversions, and core holds. The downward facing dog, for example, is in itself said to calm the brain, energize the body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs and be therapeutic for high blood pressure. Whilst these benefits come as a given with most postures, the practice of yoga as a whole provides many more benefits than you might think!
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
Through this guide, we have been touting Yoga’s mental, spiritual and physical powers. So, fortunately, you don’t have to be an expert to reap the benefits – adding just a few quick exercises to your daily routine can help you improve your health, stay fit and be at peace.
How does Yoga benefit your Mental and Spiritual Health?
1. Gives you inner strength
As quoted by a very famous personality Sri Sri Ravi Shankar –
“When you have inner peace, then you automatically succeed in what you do. The more silent you are from inside, the more powerful your thoughts and actions become.”
Lately, we have been so much caught up in the fast pacing modern lifestyle that we have distanced ourselves from nature and all the other positive energies around us. And this takes a huge toll on our mind. It is the need of the hour to relieve our mind which has been full of negativity. And nothing can cure this problem but Yoga and Meditation. Yoga is a soothing strategy invented to help those who suffer, by including special techniques for healing. It calms our mind and helps us to find enlightenment. Meditation is also one of the ways to take deep rest and be vigilant at the same time. It helps us to connect with our inner-self and attain peace.
Yoga and meditation is an art that one must learn with precision to make the strategy work proper and enjoy healing that leads to inner peace. Once the person practices with the goal in mind to heal, the inner peace follows.
2. Eases your emotional pain
Yoga helps you to ease your mental and emotional pain caused due to various reasons like some hardships made in life, detachment with any near or dear one, the death of somebody close to you or any other emotional sensation which has made you weak and broken you deep inside.
Yoga releases emotional blockages by removing the emotional toxicity stored in your body. Just as changing thought patterns can influence the body, changing the position of your body can influence the mind and facilitate emotional release. Yoga poses, breathing practices, and meditation release the construction and free the flow of the vital life-force energy.
3. Builds self-confidence and increases self-esteem
Nobody can deny the fact that true confidence emerges from within. Without self-confidence, we lack the initiative to perform extraordinary things for ourselves. And, we let fear take over and conquer us.
The acknowledgment of one’s true self and what makes us each unique is what leads to confidence, and one great way to get more in tune with the real you, is through the practice of Yoga. It boasts a person’s self-confidence, makes him feel stronger, capable and graceful within his body thereby building a stronger self-esteem. Practicing Yoga regularly is ideal and helpful to reap the inner self-confidence and nurture self-esteem.
4. Gives you peace of mind
Yoga is ideal to squash and put the fluctuations of the mind to rest. It helps you to develop an intimacy with your body and your thoughts, with what pulls you out of a sense of peace and contentment. Yoga slows down the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. If you learn to quiet your mind, you’ll be likely to live longer and healthier thus minimizing the risks of high blood pressures, cardiac arrest and other severe health problems.
5. Sharpens your focus
There is a very important aspect of Yoga – focussing on your present and current state. The inability to focus takes a toll on your performance, and hence, your sense of well-being.
Exhaustion, anxiety, stress, lack of interest and conflicting demands are commonly touted reasons for lacking focus. However, this lacking predominantly originates from a scattered and restless mind.
Regular Yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores. People who practice Yoga and meditation regularly demonstrate the ability to solve problems, acquire and recall information better when compared to non-practitioners of Yoga. The reason is very simple! Yoga practitioners are less distracted by their inner thoughts and mind-rolling which plays over and over like an endless tape loop.
6. Makes you happier
Yoga triggers the release of the essential hormone oxytocin, which floods your body with feelings of happiness and well-being. Yoga also reduces stress by regulating the level of the hormone cortisol, which ultimately leads to a happier version of you. Stress is inversely proportional to Happiness, that is, the lower are the stress levels, higher are the chances of you being happy.
7. Gives you deep sleep
Next to food, sleep is a most important element which helps you to stay fit and fine. A person who is sleep deprived or insomniac is often more prone to both physical and mental problems. When we sleep our body repairs on a cellular level and removes toxins. It is, therefore, necessary to get at least six to eight hours of good sleep daily. If not, it may lead to premature aging and leave your mind confused and muddled.
If you are unable to sleep enough, Yoga can help because sleep is another by-product of Yoga. Practicing Yoga regularly cures several ailments, including insomnia. Yoga helps unwind at the end of the day and gives better sleep at night. There are special Yoga exercises which can be practiced for a sound sleep like standing forward bend, cat stretch, and butterfly pose, etc.
Apart from the ones listed above, Yoga also has great benefits for your physical health and fitness.