What are the health benefits of yoga?December 18, 2017
Even if you’ve not practised yoga before you are highly likely to have heard of it as its taken the West by storm, so much so that it is recognised by the NHS, is part of professional footballers’ training and there’s, without doubt, a yoga class being held somewhere near to you.
Given that the majority of us spend our working day at a desk sat down, it has become more important than ever to move our bodies. When we don’t move our bodies, we are more susceptible to injury and illness. From personal experience, if I spend too long at a computer my posture starts to slip and I will ultimately end up with a sore back and neck which can be prevented through regular movement of the body.
Yoga is often described as a moving meditation as it not only gets our bodies moving but it focuses our mind and reduces stress. Further, yoga moves our bodies in a way that reaches a deep and cellular level, in addition to building muscular strength and flexibility.
Through yoga, we also learn how to breathe correctly. This might sound odd, as its something we do naturally to keep ourselves alive, but we rarely breathe deeply during our busy day. Filling up our entire respiratory system helps reset our spines, massages our internal organs and has an instantaneous calming effect on our nervous system, which, if maintained, not only reduces stress but help keeps our metabolism working correctly and balances our weight (I’ll go into this in more detail in a different blog post as its truly fascinating).
With a regular yoga asana practice (asana = postures/poses) you can expect to experience a whole host of benefits, so much so that yoga is hailed as ‘health insurance’.
Here is my summary of the key benefits of yoga (and these are just some of them!):
• Increased flexibility
• Builds core strength
• Increased body strength
• Aids digestion
• Cardio and circulatory health
• Focuses the mind
• Gets your body moving the way it should
• Weight control
• Reduces stress
• Calms the nervous system
• Makes you happier
• Aids recovery from injury/operations
• Drains your lymphs and boosts your immune system
• Perfects your posture
• Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
• Looks after your spine – movement is key for this.
• Increases your bone density
• Reduces blood pressure
• Lowers blood sugar
In conclusion, practising yoga regularly is a great way to ensure a healthy mind and body. When I say ‘regularly’ daily is what you should work up to for optimum health but this doesn’t have to be a full one hour long intense Vinyasa class every day. Try to take 5 minutes each morning to focus on your breath and do some basic stretches, take regular breaks throughout the day to get up and walk around, take the stairs, ensure you have a lunch break outside of the office, practice yoga either at home or take a class even just 20 minutes.
There’s some great online classes you can access for free and some video on demand platforms for yoga where you can subscribe from a small monthly amount. Here are my recommended online yoga platforms:
Meghan Currie https://youtu.be/rkRtgrVzANY
Cody Online Fitness Videos
If you’d like to enquire about practising yoga with me then please drop me a line either via social media or the ‘Contact’ page!