Beyond the mat – the health benefits of yoga
When people think of Yoga, they may be quick to assume that the best benefit is that it can increase flexibility. Whilst this is definitely true, Yoga can often be overlooked for the several other health benefits (both physical and mental) that it can offer. Keep on reading to find out more!
The waves of sound produced by the singing bowls, crystal bowls, gongs, shamanic drumming etc are able to calm the nervous system and balance the subtle body – the energy that vibrates throughout the inner layers of the body as well as balancing our 3D bodies – physical, emotional and mental.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Posture – When we sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, we tend to forget about posture. This can result in neck and back pain which can eventually lead to serious injuries. Yoga is a great way to correct posture, which in turn, can improve bodily alignment.
Get your heart rate up – Not all Yoga is necessarily aerobic, however if you were to take flow classes this can definitely boost your heart rate. It can also lower your chances of suffering from a heart attack too. Don’t worry if you like non-aerobic Yoga, this is still a great way to improve cardiovascular conditioning.
Improve lung function – When given Pranayama breathing exercises and Yoga postures to do, patients suffering from coronary artery disease in one study were found to have improved lung function as well as improve cardiovascular functions. Ultimately, Yoga can help regulate and strengthen your lungs.
Mental health benefits of yoga
In a world where we are always on the go, it can be difficult to make time to look after our mental health. Luckily, Yoga benefits don’t just stop at the physical, here are some mental benefits worth knowing about:
Happiness boost – According to Harvard Health research, regular Yoga practice correlates with better wellbeing, which includes greater happiness. As Yoga improves your mindfulness, it also contributes towards an increase in compassion and gratitude – all of which results in greater happiness.
Decreases stress – As well as happiness, there have been various studies that show that Yoga can ease stress by decreasing the secretion of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Simply learning to take deep breaths whilst practicing Yoga can be an extremely effective skill to help navigate stressful everyday situations.
Helps self-confidence – Yoga involves mindfulness of the body and this can lead to purposeful self-affirming language when guiding yourself during practice. In doing so, you begin to positively regard both your body and mind which can lead to an overall better sense of self.