We’re sure you’ve heard of the amazing ways in which your mind can get happier, and your body can become healthier with consistent yoga practice. India’s most popular export to the west, and a worldwide phenomenon in health and fitness — the ancient practice of yoga has revolutionized how we view the connection between body and mind. A booming global industry has sprouted around yoga over the last decade, to support the rapidly growing interest in this life-changing practice. From yoga studios to YouTubers creating yoga content to educate and teach their disciples virtually, practicing yoga has been one of the defining features of 2020.
Often touted as a union between body, mind and spirit, yoga’s origins are thousands of years old. Encompassing balance, stretching techniques, breathing and meditation exercises, yoga enables our body to discover its center and connect with our inner world.
A catalyst to wellbeing and a sound mind, yoga comes in a variety of types and formats today, each catering to a particular niche. Here are a few of the most popular forms of yoga:
- Hatha Yoga: Deriving its name from the Sanskrit words ‘sun’ and ‘moon’, Hatha yoga is known to balance opposing forces. A catch-all phrase for the physical side of yoga, in a more traditional sense, this type is ideal for beginners.
- Vinyasa Yoga: Sometimes also called ‘flow’ yoga, Vinyasa is very common in practice worldwise. Vinyasa is a style of yoga, where poses are specifically designed to link breath and movement. Synchronizing breath with a continuous rhythmic flow, this is one of the most mindful styles of yoga.
- Iyengar Yoga: Emphasizing alignment and a longer hold on positions (Kriyas), this style of yoga, named after its founder B.K.S.Iyengar – is popular for its use of props such as walls, chairs and benches.
- Power Yoga: An active style of yoga, with a quicker pace than the rest, power yoga builds muscle and improves flexibility. Encompassing some of the best yoga poses for weight loss, power yoga is also often performed in the form of ‘hot’ yoga.
- Restorative Yoga: Using props to support the body, this style of yoga involves completely relaxing into poses, which are held for five minutes or longer. One of the most zen & calming types of yoga practices, restorative yoga is performed as a guided meditation that allows your body to hover blissfully between being asleep & awake.
Growing scientific study and research around the advantages of yoga has made people more aware of how the practice can be a significant contributor towards a long, healthy & happy life. Turning up the hype around this ancient Indian practice, yoga is now being recommended by top healthcare experts and doctors around the world for its multitude of benefits like proper posture, flexibility & more. Yoga for weight loss, and yoga for back pain is also being highly recommended these days.
If you are considering becoming a lifelong student of this ancient spiritual practice, or are already a practitioner & are contemplating on its many advantages – we’ve got a list of 10 amazing health benefits of yoga, that are sure to motivate you & spur you into action. Read on!
Pranayama, or breathwork, is a major part of all yoga practices. Just like any other muscles in our body, our diaphragm gets stronger with exercise. The more yoga we do, the more advantages of yoga we receive in return. Especially the types that synchronize breathing and movement, the more it becomes possible to use a larger percentage of our lung capacity. No more short shallow breaths & panting after just 4 flights of stairs – the more one practices breathing through pranayamas and other yoga exercises, the more deeper, nourishing breaths one can take.
Here are some of the benefits of breathing better & deeper:
- Reduced stress level and anxiety.
- Better management of chronic pain.
- Helps with depression & improves overall mental health.
- Improvement in diabetic symptoms.
- Detoxification of the body.
It’s no secret that yoga makes you stronger and more flexible. Benefits of yoga can sometimes seem similar to those of any other exercise. However, unlike weight lifting, the kind of strength and posture built with yoga is more organic, long-lasting and never feels forced. A slower, steadier way to build graceful posture, yoga is one practice that is sure to have you hold your spine straight and head high. Surya Namaskar also known as the “Ultimate Asana” strengthens your back as well as your muscles and improves metabolism. The benefits of Surya Namaskar are infinite, all you need is just 10 minutes of complete dedication and you are sorted.
Here are some of the benefits of good posture:
- Reduced lower backaches and neck pain relief.
- Reduced headaches due to eased muscle tension.
- An increase in energy levels.
- Decreased risk of joint problems.
- Improved digestion and blood circulation.
A challenging yoga session, especially practices like power yoga or ‘hot’ yoga helps the skin release a host of toxins through sweat. Practicing yoga for glowing skin gives an unexpected health benefit and increases the vitality of our largest organ. Yoga also enhances blood regulation and improves circulation that leads to better skin. You don’t need expensive masks and facials all the time – yoga helps detoxify your skin and release clogged pores much more effectively. Also, better breathing through pranayama helps boost skin health for a seriously stunning glow-up!
Here are some of the benefits of healthy skin:
- Increased confidence & improved mental health.
- Protection from exposure to viruses and bacteria.
- Maintenance of body temperature.
A good night’s sleep is the most underrated aspect of health and fitness regimes. It is often said that if one has many healthy habits, but skips out on sleep; they also skip out on any benefits they might have received otherwise. Yoga, deeply spiritual and meditative practice is known to boost calm and deep sleep. Yoga encourages the body to relax and deepen breathing patterns. It also helps the mind to calm down, focus on the present moment and develop inner quietude. All these benefits of yoga create the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep.
Here are some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep:
- Boosted immune system.
- Helps prevent weight gain and lose weight faster.
- Increased concentration and productivity.
- Improves mood and memory.
- Better heart health and blood circulation.
Mindful and clean eating is not a very easy habit to form, especially in the 21st century. Building this mindset is one of the greatest and most unknown advantages of yoga. Yoga, through its very nature, helps us connect our mind and spirit to our body. It helps us get grounded in the present moment and clears our mind so that we make better decisions. Statistically, one of the biggest changes people see in themselves when they start practicing yoga, is that they get cleaner and healthier with their diet.
Here are some of the benefits of clean eating:
- Increased energy and vitality.
- Helps balance hormones.
- Key to a longer, healthier life.
- Boosts vitality of hair, skin & nails.
- Increased concentration and focus.
Mind Over Matter
It’s no secret that yoga is one of the best gifts you can give your mind. Centering the mind and connecting it with a higher dimension of consciousness, yoga helps with all kinds of mental health issues and helps us build healthier mindsets in life. Benefits of Surya namaskar, one of yoga’s most ancient routines, offer a release from anxiety, depression and chronic mental illnesses. Yoga is a lifestyle that must be adopted by us all for a happier life. A great stress-management tool, yoga brings us to the present moment and helps us keep our priorities in perspective.
Here are some of the benefits of mindfulness:
- Improved concentration and boost in cognitive abilities.
- Helps us get more creative at work and in life.
- Keeps mental health in check.
- Increased ability to deal with physical illness.
- Boosted self-acceptance and emotional stability.
One of the major and most well-known benefits of yoga is increased flexibility and physical balance. Leading to a very independent life well into our elderly years, improved balance and flexibility are important in maintaining our health. Many yoga poses for weight loss and improved muscle strength, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, standing poses, etc are key in building core strength, stronger hamstrings, quadriceps, and abs.
Here are some of the benefits of balance and flexibility:
- Reduced body pain and fewer injuries.
- Improved posture.
- Better physical performance.
- Joint and muscle health.
- A more centered, balanced life.
If you scroll through yoga asanas’ names with pictures and benefits or go through the benefits of yoga on the blog of any online store that sells clothes for yoga; one of the most common benefits you will see are heart-health related. Famous for lowering blood pressure and regulating blood circulation, yoga practices help keep our hearts healthy well into our old age. Yoga has also been linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and better immune system function.
Here are some of the benefits of a healthy heart:
- Boosted brain function.
- Improved digestion and metabolism.
- Effective distribution of nutrition.
- Boosted immunity and resistance to chronic disease.
- Decreased stress levels and hormonal imbalance.
Be it yoga poses for weight loss or weight gain – this ancient practice helps in ensuring that we achieve and stay at our healthiest weight, no matter what that may be. Unlike other weight loss techniques, yoga for weight loss ensures that we maintain a weight that is neither too less or more than what our body needs to function optimally. A natural and long-lasting way to watch your weight, yoga comes with the added mental health benefits that make your journey to fitness happier, calmer and more mindful.
Here are some of the benefits of optimal weight:
- Easy management of hormones and fluid levels.
- Decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illness.
- Boosted energy, mental health & confidence level.
- High metabolism and better digestion.
- Longer life span.
Stress is one of the leading causes of both physical and mental chronic illnesses today. Leading to overall low quality of life, stress levels that are out of control lead to many long-term issues. In such a busy and stressful day & age, stress management is not an easy task by any means. If you are looking to have a better balance in life and reduce stress in a time-effective, and healthy way, there is no better practice than yoga. So many elements of yoga are focused on regulating deep breaths and synchronizing the mind to rhythms of the body – thus, leading to better stress management. This is one chill pill you have to perform, not take!
Here are some of the benefits of reduced stress levels:
- Better sleep and breathing patterns.
- Easier weight control.
- Faster recovery from illnesses.
- Better mental health and happiness.
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
As you can see, the benefits of yoga are many and are varied. These benefits, in turn, sprout other health benefits that help make yoga a complete circle of mental and physical wellness.
Are you excited to embark on this amazingly rewarding fitness journey? Be sure to check out our online store for chic and functional yoga pants for women and men, to kickstart your stretching adventure. Until next time – see ya!