Yoga is not simply a physical practice, it’s a mental one. Over time, it may even become a spiritual one. For each person, their journey and relationship with yoga can be different and will change over time. The benefits of yoga are endless. These are just some of the many benefits you can expect to gain through consistent yoga practice.
- Yoga helps increase flexibility – As you begin to move and stretch our muscles consistently and mindfully, the physical result is an increase in flexibility and mobility. You’ll start to notice an ease in your movements and maybe walk a bit taller!
- Yoga increases blood flow – Studies have shown that a consistent yoga practice can lead to a lower resting heart rate, an increase in endurance and an overall increase in oxygen uptake when exercising. This can be credited to the focus on breathing techniques throughout the practice.
- Yoga helps reduce adrenal fatigue – In a nutshell, cortisol is what our body produces when we’re faced with a crisis – it temporarily boosts our immune system so that we can respond to the issue. The problem is when we are in a constant state of crisis, our body continues to produce cortisol, and the overload, over an extended period, has been linked to osteoporosis and major depression. Yoga reduces cortisol levels! Yet another reason to practice.
- Yoga helps with pain management – Studies have found that individuals with arthritis, carpal tunnel, back pain, fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions have experienced significant reductions in the amount of pain through consistent yoga practice. Generally, when we’re more active, our mood improves, and often, medication decreases.
- Yoga helps improve focus and balance – Whether our practice is comprised of asanas (poses), or meditation or both, there’s no denying that yoga helps improve focus and balance. In a time where “shiny object syndrome” is prevalent, our ability to focus has diminished. When we focus, we’re able slow things down; we can slow our breath, thoughts and responses. We can also find a bit more balance both physically and mentally.
Please remember each person has a slightly different relationship to their practice, so don’t feel pressured to feel the same things as other people during yours.