When we hear the word yoga, we think so many negative things about it that we lose sight of the benefits it gives its practitioners. Is yoga only for people with good flexibility? Is it just for the thin, beautiful, and young? Yoga means many things to a lot of different people. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to yoga. The beauty of this discipline is it can accommodate you, no matter your size, shape, age, level of flexibility, lifestyle, and state of mind. Yoga is a holistic approach that everyone can benefit from.
Yoga for Good Posture
Bad posture leads to a lot of health complications. It can lead to high blood pressure, hypertension, neck and back pain problems, headaches, migraines, and even gastrointestinal problems. But among the many health issues people go through because of bad posture, the most it is known for is scoliosis. Bad posture leads to postural scoliosis. It is reversible, but you need to go through a non-surgical scoliosis treatment to correct the curvature of the spine. Sometimes, you might need invasive surgery.
So why not do a couple of yoga poses each day? Studies indicate that yoga can improve posture, flexibility, and balance. With yoga, you must sit up straight to hold the positions. You need good posture for a lot of different yoga positions. This is one of the basics of yoga—learning proper posture.
Yoga for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, one of the ways you can achieve that is to do yoga. Holding those yoga poses is not easy. Many of them burn a lot of calories. A lot of them, actually. Vinyasa and Bikram, for example, contribute directly to weight loss because they are active. Yoga Nidra, on the other hand, helps you make better and healthier food choices. You are more mindful of the way you eat because this type of yoga improves mental health.
Yoga for Strength
This discipline isn’t only great for flexibility and weight loss. It’s a great way to build muscle mass, too. Yoga involves holding different poses for an extended period of time. Holding these poses is specifically designed to increase strength and build muscles. The poses—such as the boat pose, side plank pose, bridge pose, and wheel pose—activate and strengthen your core. Such activities develop and tone your abs.
Yoga for Mental Health
A lot of the things you will learn about yoga will affect your mental health in the most positive of ways. Yoga is based on the clarity of one’s mind. It is impossible to build one’s confidence in doing yoga poses without a clear mind. That is why one of the basic things you need to learn when studying yoga is how to clear your mind. You have to reach a state of zen before you can move on to the next phase.
People who suffer from anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder will do well practicing yoga. Many psychologists and therapists advise their patients to practice yoga. Putting one’s mind in a state of clarity helps clear the doubts, pain, frustration, and anguish usually associated with life.
Yoga for Insomnia
If you want to be healthy, you have to mind the number of hours of sleep you get in a day. Lack of sleep and insomnia leads to high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, and other disorders. Studies showed that yoga can help you sleep better. In a study of two groups of senior adults, the group asked to do yoga slept better than the one who took herbal medicine.
Yoga for Stress
Above all, yoga promotes relaxation. In an experiment, people who initially have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol showed lower levels of the hormone after a three-month yoga program. It’s a powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety because yoga is based on the assumption that a relaxed mind puts the body at ease. The first step to fulfilling the practice of yoga is to reach a certain level of calmness and relaxation. This has a profound impact on a person’s stress level.
The misconceptions about yoga continue to hound the discipline. For many, yoga is either too easy or too hard. It’s neither. It takes a lot of work and practice to master yoga. The benefits, however, are life-changing that you wouldn’t even think twice about going through the whole process once more. Anything is possible with yoga that you can do it no matter where you are, no matter at what stage you are in your life.