Benefits of Yoga
Meditation in Motion
Yoga itself is often thought of as meditation in motion -- your asanas will quiet your mind and encourage inner peace. Meditation can also be practiced without yoga. While learning to sit quietly with yourself in meditation can seem a surprisingly daunting task in the beginning, with some practice you can learn to achieve peace and tranquility of the mind and spirit. Once you are meditating, your mind and body enjoy a wide variety of benefits.
Meditation can quiet the many distractions that you experience throughout the day and allow you to enjoy greater focus even when the meditation session is over.
Meditation is also able to rewire the way your brain reacts to negative thoughts. By learning to quiet negative stressors and process negative emotions more positively, you can make it through stressors large and small with greater ease.
Meditation may even be able to increase your self-confidence. By bolstering positive emotions including acceptance and compassion, you may be able to feel better about yourself every day by starting out with a quick meditation.
Additional Health Benefits
Practicing yoga regularly will improve your fitness level, no doubt. But did you know that yoga offers specific benefits for PMS, people with MS (multiple sclerosis), pregnant women, children, and more?
If you suffer from PMS, try yoga instead of reaching for the ice cream. Certain poses, like seated twist and child's pose offer relief. Yoga boosts circulation, which can decrease the bloat. Deep breathing reduces cramps by increasing oxygen to tissues.
Holding a prolonged yoga pose increases your muscle strength. Many poses are weight bearing, which strengthens your bones and helps keep osteoporosis at bay. Regular stretching increases your muscle strength and helps prevent muscle injuries.
Yoga's stretching and breathing can offer relief from five symptoms of MS: numbness in your limbs, loss of coordination, fatigue, heat intolerance, and loss of balance and flexibility.
Deep breathing reduces stress because it sends your central nervous system into parasympathetic mode, which is relaxation. Other benefits of being in that mode include better digestion and improved sleep. Getting adequate sleep is important to keep your stress levels low.
You will also become more aware of your body, and where you hold your tension. Just being aware can help you relax those muscles.
Having an hour of time dedicated to mental and physical decompression allows you to temporarily forget everything outside the yoga studio and focus on the present, resulting in reduced stress.
Yoga can help you prepare for labor. Of particular importance are the breathing exercises. Conscious breathing during a difficult pose aids you in being comfortable with discomfort - a definite plus when you go into labor.
Benefits for Kids
Kids live in a hustle bustle world what with increased school pressure, competitive sports, the noise of video games and cell phones, and often parents who are also busy. Yoga can help your children deal with their own unique stress. During yoga practice, they will learn relaxation, focus, and body awareness. The physical benefits include increased strength, coordination, and flexibility. Teaching children self-health is an incredible gift.
The increased body awareness that comes with regular yoga practice enables you to feel what your body is doing, which leads to improved balance. With improved balance comes better posture, fewer back pains and knee problems, and fewer falls, which is very important as you age.