Yoga is a truly fantastic form of exercise to do for improving your health and fitness, but exactly what are those benefits? We take a look at the main ones below and provide details on exactly why yoga is so good for you…
1. Lowers stress and improves your mood
Yoga uses specific meditation techniques, which focus the mind on your breathing to quieten the constant ‘mind chatter’, which relieves stress and allows you to naturally feel more relaxed.
Practising these breathing techniques can boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content.
2. Lowers the risk of injury
Exercise such as running is usually a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise also engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups, whereas yoga is different as it concentrates on balancing this activity and placing minimal stress and pressure on the joints of the body.
3. Increases flexibility
People often mistakenly believe that they are not flexible enough to do yoga. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how tight your muscles are as yoga works by safely stretching your muscles and helps you to progressively become more flexible over time in a safe way. Moreover, yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.
4. Improves muscle tone and strength
Many yoga movements have a profound effect on your upper body strength, such as the downward and upward dog, whilst the plank focuses on your core. Likewise, standing poses strengthen your upper leg muscles and lower back. Essentially any pose will strengthen an area of the body if it is practised in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups. In this way, yoga is great for increasing your muscle tone and strength.
5. Improves your posture
By practising yoga you maintain a healthier weight, become more flexible and improve your muscle tone and strength. You will find that your posture will greatly improve because of this. Your abdominals and back muscles can now fully support your weight and you will be able to sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains.