Popular and most recognised Benefits of Yoga to name but a few….
Once of the most obvious benefits to Yoga, from your first class where maybe you can’t touch your toes, when you look around and the rest of the class can, that then becomes your aim and through regular practice and dedication, progression down to the toes leads to a feeling of accomplishment and success, boosting confidence.
Tightness in hips can lead to problems in the knee joint to wrong alignment of the legs. Tight hamstrings can lead to problems in the lumbar spine affecting posture. Tightness in the muscles and connective tissues and joints can cause pains throughout the body, Stretching and lengthening the muscles can result in much needed pain relief and corrective posture allowing you to stand tall.
Humans have the biggest head to body ratio of any mammal on earth. Likened to the size and weight of a bowling ball it allows us carry a large brain, capable of many achievements, this of course however requires the muscles of the body to keep the head upright and supported. Poor alignment of the spine and neck can lead to tight, inflexible muscles thus causing pain. The body’s muscles main purpose is to allow movement, they also aid in the protection of our vital organs and skeleton taking impact away from them and preventing damage. The obvious importance for us here is keeping the muscles healthy and strong.
Cartilage and joint health
Yoga takes cartilage and joints through their full range of motion, motions that would not normally be achieved through day to day activity. Providing them with fresh nutrients through a squeeze and replace sponge like action, preventing them from degeneration and break down.
The many postures yoga offers enables us to practice a weight baring form of exercise, strengthening the bones and providing nutrients, warding off conditions such as osteoporosis.
Providing oxygen to the cells, removing bad blood from organs and boosting levels of haemoglobin, the many postures of yoga provide the perfect tool to keep the blood flowing freely through our body, warding off the risks of heart attacks and strokes by reducing the risk of clots.
Studies have found that regular yoga classes especially classes like these that I teach in Vinyasa flow style boosts heart health, improving the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart attacks.
Lymphatic system and immunity
Constant movement within the body in yoga comprising of twists , turns , bends , flexion and extension keeps the lymph system healthy and moving removing waste from the cells and protecting against infection.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle Meditation, relaxation, correct use of the breathe, taking time to go within one’s self and taking time away from the stresses of our lives together with health of the heart and regular stretching keeps the arteries pliable thereby reducing blood pressure.
Relieve anxiety and depression
Studies have found that regular yoga practices leads to an increase of serotonin and decreases levels of cortisol ( stress hormone) taking time to meditate and using correct breathing techniques calms the nervous system and regulates hormone production. Together with Asana practice ( postures ) all the bodies systems are synchronised and balanced leading to an overall feeling of calmness.
Proprioception (to be able to visualize where you are in space and time) to feel what the body is doing, to find your centre of gravity, to stabilise the body, reducing the risk of falling and injury. To feel grounded and safe. Yoga gives us the tools to both create and find balance in the body, balancing our nerves, thoughts, emotions and inner bodies. Aiding in concentration , strengthening our muscles and aiding coordination.
Pranayama, yogic practice of the breath improves lung function and capacity, the lungs play a vital role in the health of the whole body bringing in oxygen and dispelling carbon dioxide, they also regulate cellular activity.
Using Abdominal, Thorasic and Clavicular breathing we maximise inhalation and exhalation. The practice of Pranayama also aids in meditation and relaxation reducing levels of stress.
Improve sleep patterns
By keeping the body active and healthy, keeping the mind still and the nervous system calm, our hormones become balanced and with less toxins in the body our brain can rest in a peaceful state and produce enough melatonin to aid a restful nights sleep. The physical activity of Yoga also aids and promotes healthy sleep.
Yoga for Children
Along with all the physical benefits as mentioned above Yoga for children helps build body awareness, manages stress levels through breathing, meditation and healthy movement, helps build concentration, increases confidence and gives them a healthy activity in a none competitive way.
Yoga for sports professionals
providing physical endurance and mental focus, yoga alleviates sore joints & ligaments, can reduce inflammation, helps speed the healing process, promotes balance, boots metabolism, provides energy, works deep into the tissues and muscles, maintains supple joints and balances the endocrine and nervous system. Yoga can be used as a restorative practice easing stress and fatigue or can be used as a great warm up session.
There are over 97 proven medical and scientific benefits of a regular Yoga practice, these mentioned provide an insight into the positive effects we can expect when including yoga into our daily life.