The benefits of practicing yoga
Yoga practice has a lot of benefits - physical, mental and emotional benefits.
Here are ten of them:
1. Helps develop flexibility, strength and posture
Regular yoga practice, combines flexing and extending in a controlled manner as well as working against your body weight. Over time, the range of motion of both the muscles and the ligaments increases and the potential for joint movement also increases.
Flexing the body in combination with muscle strengthening, contributes to improving posture and reducing the likelihood of the onset of pain such as back, neck and joint pain.
2. Helps prevent injuries and deal with pain
By proper and complete operation of the joints participating in the movement, their mobility is maintained and the chance of injury to them, as a result of incorrect movement, is significantly reduced. For those who combine intense physical activity, yoga practice can be a complementary practice, which helps in both physical coping with physical efforts and mental coping, in the way of increasing the body's attention abilities, recognizing its limitations and intensifying activities that prevent crossing those limits and prevent injuries - as well as faster recovery in case of injuries. .
Contributes to the health of the respiratory system and heart
Breathing is a key element in practice. By combining full and directed breathing with movement, increased respiratory capacity is achieved. Yogic breathing combines full mobility in the chest and abdomen and full mobility of the diaphragm - as a result, more oxygen enters the body with each inhalation and more waste materials leave the body with each exhalation.
Proper breathing supports cardiovascular health and improves blood circulation in the body.
4. Contributes to strengthening the immune system
Regular yoga practice has been found to lower the level of the hormone Cortisol in the body - this is the hormone secreted when dealing with stressful situations and helps to cope with them - A chronic high levels of Cortisol, as a result of a stressful lifestyle, damage some white blood cells and weaken the immune system.
Relieving stress and quieting of the body and mind, through the practice of yoga, helps to effectively eliminate cortisol excess from the body and helps keep the immune system stronge and functioning.
5. Contributes to maintaining balance
Through physical practice of balance postures to maintaining mental balance - yoga helps prevent injuries as a result of falls, whether as part of intense athletic activity or as a result of declining balance abilities in old age. Proper activation of the stabilizing muscles, conscious weight transfer to the feet and focused thinking, help greatly in maintaining this important ability and help at any age, both in proper movement and as a preventative ability.
6. Helps maintain cognitive ability
By consciously moving movement and breathing, focus and attention abilities are sharpened - tasks involving and increased attentional memory become easier, with the development of the ability to neutralize environmental stimuli and focus on just one. It has been found that practicing yoga meditating in the West, can encourage the formation of new neural connections between brain areas related to the abilities of attention and concentration and can lead to improvement in tasks that require high mental processing speed.
7. Helps maintain the digestive system
Many poses, produce movement and a "squeezing" of the digestive organs and strengthen the large muscles that protect the abdominal organs. Twisting poses, for example, produce increased blood flow to these areas and efficient function of the digestive system. Breathing exercises that involve the abdominal area and forward bending postures, encourage the elimination of waste materials and strengthen the action of the intestinal muscles.
In order to achieve a balanced and stable digestive system, we need a focused consciousness, a calm mind and good intestinal activity. Focused consciousness will be aware in real time of the food that enters our body. A peaceful soul will not seek or need the comfort of food. And optimal intestinal activity, will utilize the nutrients important to the body's activity and clear the excess food and waste that the body does not need, efficiently and over time.
8. Helps to cope better with situations of pain or stress and helps to develop a more realistic view of daily life
Life presents us with challenges at any age. Be it physical challenges or mental challenges - by deep recognition of our body and our thought process, effective ways to deal with them in a more correct and healthy way can be developed.
The practice of yoga encourages personal inquiry, recognition and acceptance of the limitations of the body and mind and the development of balance ability in the face of events beyond our control.
Crises typical of changes at different times in life - adolescence, months of pregnancy, old age - can be perceived as less threatening and coping with them can be easier through regular and in-depth practice and self-awareness that encourages such practice, combining both physical, respiratory and mental practice.
9. Helps create a healthier and more balanced lifestyle
Attention and self-learning, through the tools that yoga provides, encourage the acquisition of healthier living habits - regular physical exercise, proper breathing patterns, proper eating, proper and benevolent behavior and a better attitude towards our environment.
By turning our attention to ourselves, the ability to see others as well is sharpened.
By training and self-exploration - we strengthen self-confidence, encourage better mental health, strengthen our self-image and encourage self-realization of our abilities.
10. Helps cope with changing life situations
The practice of yoga has many and varied faces - this is a practice that changes according to the changes that occur naturally in life.
The practice can be a strengthening or preserving practice, with the goal being to maintain a healthy body and a balanced mind.
The practice can be supportive a practice, in times of crisis or in times when less intense activity and more restorative activity is required (for example, during pregnancy).
The practice can be a therapeutic practice, aimed towards relief and healing - in cases of chronic diseases or as a result of various injuries - adapted yoga practice can be gentle and gradual, in order to achieve improvement and relief and restore the practitioner if possible, to regular activity.