Wellness Wednesday: Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is more than a health trend. It is a 5,000 year old tradition that has reinvented itself and its practitioners for millennia. Through its many forms, yoga offers a range of difficulty and health benefits. And the best part is that it’s easy to get started. Are you curious about the different types of yoga? So were we. Here is a chart from Yoga Trail that might help:
Yoga is low impact, easy and can be done at home for free. It serves as an ideal workout for those that want to gain flexibility and strength without straining their body or their budget. Plus, there different types of yoga practices, and while they all range in speed, poses and occasionally temperature, there are three major pillars that are shared by each:
Different poses increase a body part’s flexibility and strength. In turn, the increased strength in areas such as your back and arms can decrease chronic pain and help with posture.
Many practitioners of yoga aim to relieve arthritis, muscle weakness and other chronic conditions through stretching. Yoga decreases the rate of joint and cartilage breakdown by exposing areas of the joint that are usually don’t have access to circulating nutrients in the body.
While all weight-bearing exercise decreases the chance of broken bones, the poses in yoga use your own weight to your advantage. You don’t need weights or a gym—simply use your body’s natural resistance to build your strength.
Another major feature of yoga is to concentrate on and control your breath—and the deeper, the better. Through this control, and the increased blood flow and circulation from your poses, you can increase the amount of oxygen that reaches your muscles and the rest of your body. The breathing practices taught in yoga can also help with asthma.
Much like yoga, meditation has been around for thousands of years, taking different forms in each culture. Meditation can be difficult to define as well, due to its diversity and close ties to “consciousness,” but it expresses simple goals: concentration, peace and clarity. In yoga, meditation can help control stress, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and even help control heart disease.
Yoga offers all of the benefits of exercise with the benefits of being able to be practiced anywhere (at home, outside, on vacation) and with a bit of personal flair since you get to choose what style to practice. If you’re looking for ways to increase your flexibility, give yoga a try today!
K, Alex. “Find Your Yoga Style Infographic.” Yoga Trail Blog. < https://www.yogatrail.com/blog/whats-your-yoga-style/>.
Watson, Stephanie. “Yoga: Benefits, Intensity Level, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.
“Yoga for Health.” NCCIH. N.p., 01 May 2008. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.