Yoga is a well-known workout that helps you get in touch with your body, mind and soul. The benefits of yoga are not only physical but also mental and emotional. Yoga can help release tension and stress from the body while calming the mind. It's an ancient practice but one that we think still has relevance today!
“Yoga is not about touching your toes. It’s about what you learn on the way down.” -Jigar Gor
Curious as to what all the amazingness is behind the OM? Check out these wonderful ways that yoga does your body GREAT!
5 Yoga Benefits For Mind and Body
Whether you are an absolute beginner or have dabbled in yoga here and there, no time is better than the present in regards to starting a yoga practice. Here are 5 ways that yoga can positively benefit your mind and body.
1. Boosts Your Confidence
Yoga helps you focus on how your body FEELS… not just necessarily on how it looks (although yoga does help improve strength and flexibility).
Research found that women who regularly practice yoga had a 20 percent higher body satisfaction rating than those who did other forms of exercise!
2. Improves Your Mind
Yoga requires a degree of concentration, especially when it comes to breathing and getting into form. This specific concentration is referred to as Dharana.
Yoga also increases circulation to your brain and helps enhance your ability to recall information.
3. Better Digestion and Gut Health
Wait… yoga and gut health in the same sentence? YES!!! Because yoga helps reduce anxiety, pain, and stress, it also has a positive influence on providing relief for gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
Yoga also provides relief from pain and bloating.
4. Makes You Happier
According to research studies, engaging in yoga regularly (at least once a week) helps slow the release of the stress-triggered protein cytokine.
Too much cytokine leads to fatigue and bad moods!
Namaste your stress away and raise the happy brain chemical GABA during each yoga session.
Low levels of GABA are linked to depression.
5. Provides A Community
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
A plethora of studies has shown that people who have positive connections with others are not only happier, but also healthier and live longer too!
In yoga, this social connection is referred to a sangha - a group of like minded people.
Yoga can provide a supportive community of empowered people who can help guide you in fulfilling your goals.
As if these 5 reasons weren’t enough to start developing your personal yoga practice stat… yoga has also been shown to:
- Reduce stress
- Improve strength
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve balance
- Reduce depression
- Improve immune function
- Reduce pain
- Improve sleep
How To Start a Yoga Practice
Whether you are an absolute beginner or have dabbled in yoga here and there, no time is better than the present in regards to starting a yoga practice.
Find a yoga community near you by searching the internet, asking your local gym, or reaching out to someone you know who practices.
Try out a variety of yoga studios until you find a “home”. Don’t get discouraged if you try one class and don’t immediately connect with it. There are a variety of different studios, teachers, and types of yoga -- so continue searching and testing out various classes until you find one that you love!
Luckily, we also live in the information age, which means you can easily start a yoga practice at home by searching for videos on Youtube or websites like yogadownload.
Sun Salutation Guide
Surya Namaskar is a great ritual to wake up the body in the morning, focus the mind, and connect the feelings of gratitude for the new day, so waking up a little earlier in the morning to do it, can allow us to experience inner silence and more energy during the day. Get our Sun Salutations Guide here.