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10 Benefits of Yoga

Beautiful girl making training and yoga at home in the morning
Swami Vishnudevananda 

Yoga’s history has many places of obscurity and uncertainty due to its oral transmission of sacred texts and the secretive nature of its teachings. The early writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed or lost. 

The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old old. Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice and development. 

 “Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”

Swami Vishnudevananda 

1. Improves your flexibility

Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You’ll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That’s no coincidence.

2. Builds muscle strength

Strong muscles do more than looking good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.

3. Perfects your posture

Your head is like a bowling ball—big, round, and heavy. When it’s balanced directly over an erect spine, it takes much less work for your neck and back muscles to support it. Move it several inches forward, however, and you start to strain those muscles. Hold up that forward-leaning bowling ball for eight or 12 hours a day and it’s no wonder you’re tired. And fatigue might not be your only problem.

4. Increases your blood flow

 Yoga gets your blood flowing. More specifically, the relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result. Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released.   Yoga also boosts levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. And it thins the blood by making platelets less sticky and by cutting the level of clot-promoting proteins in the blood. 

5. Drains your Lymph’s and boosts immunity

 When you contract and stretch muscles, move organs around, and come in and out of yoga postures, you increase the drainage of lymph (a viscous fluid rich in immune cells). This helps the lymphatic system fight infection, destroy cancerous cells, and dispose of the toxic waste products of cellular functioning.  

6. Regulates your adrenal glands

Yoga lowers cortisol levels. If that doesn’t sound like much, consider this. Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function. If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system. Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain. Additionally, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.  

7. Lowers blood sugar

 Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar in several ways: by lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels, encouraging weight loss, and improving sensitivity to the effects of insulin. Get your blood sugar levels down, and you decrease your risk of diabetic complications such as heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.

8. Releases tension in your limbs

Do you ever notice yourself holding the telephone or a steering wheel with a death grip or scrunching your face when staring at a computer screen? These unconscious habits can lead to chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which can increase stress and worsen your mood. As you practice yoga, you notice where you hold tension: It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. 

9. Increases your self-esteem

Many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively—take drugs, overeat, work too hard, sleep around—you may pay the price in poorer health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you’ll sense, initially in brief glimpses and later in more sustained views, that you’re worthwhile or, as yogic philosophy teaches, that you are a manifestation of the Divine. If you practice regularly with the intention of self-examination and betterment—not just as a substitute for an aerobics class—you can access a different side of yourself. You’ll experience feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that your part of something bigger. 

10. Gives you inner strength

 Yoga can help you make changes in your life. In fact, that might be its greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for “heat,” is the fire, the discipline that fuels yoga practise and that regular practice builds. The tapas you develop can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. You may find that without trying to change things, you start to eat better, exercise more, or finally quit smoking after years of failed attempts. 


TOP 10 YOGA POSITIONS FOR BEGINNERS

  1. Warrior – Anjaneyasana: The Lunge Pose
  2. Triangle – Ardha Chandrasana: half moon pose
  3. Child – Balasana: Child’s Pose
  4. Seated Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana: half lord of the fishes pose
  5. Bridge – Setu Bandhasana: bridge pose
  6. Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana Pose  
  7. Tree – Vrksasana: tree pose
  8. Cobbler – Baddha Konasana: The Butterfly Pose
  9. Mountain – Tadasana: mountain pose
  10. Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
  • "Warrior" - Anjaneyasana: The Lunge Pose

15 MINUTE MORNING YOGA FOR BEGINNERS 🔥 by Sarah Beth Yoga

Get on your mat for this simple 15 minute morning yoga for beginners 🔥 WEIGHT LOSS edition 🔥 for a fat-burning beginners yoga workout to tone, strengthen & stretch.  


Are you a beginner to yoga? Watch this video to learn basic yoga stretches for beginners to increase flexibility & blood circulation.

Unlike stretching or fitness exercises, Beginners Yoga poses are more than just physical postures. Yoga workouts for beginners are unique as we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. 

14 BASIC YOGA POSES FOR BEGINNERS AT HOME

45 MIN INTERMEDIATE YOGA FLOW – by sjanaelise

Here is a gentle intermediate flow to cultivate some patience, self-love and grow a deeper awareness of yourself in this sometimes chaotic but beautiful!) Universe.   


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About the Author: Nailah Aljasmi

Marketing & Advertising Manager | Health and Wellbeing Educator | Nutrition Health Advocate