Before we discuss the science-based benefits of yoga, we will discuss what is yoga? and how yoga is important for us?
You may have been advised to take up yoga at some point in your life, with the promise that it would change your life. Mind-body exercise is currently practiced by people all over the world who claim that it has helped them relieve stress or relieve chronic physical pain.
While some of the purported benefits of yoga may be exaggerated, mindful exercise has scientific backing.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a holistic practice that connects body, breath, and mind. While this definition may sound prescriptive, it can lead to confusion. Some are convinced that yoga can effectively address a wide range of health issues, while others are more skeptical about its overall effectiveness.
So before we talk about the benefits of yoga, let us break down the essence of yoga practice into simple well-known elements.
Yoga is a combination of three elements meditation, breathing, and stretching. Stability, and sometimes strength exercises. Yoga originated as a relaxation and meditation practice, with breathing as one of its primary elements. Effective relaxation and meditation require proper breathing techniques, right?
Since yoga was introduced to the West in the 1890s, physical asanas involving stretching and stability have gradually been added to the practice. Today yoga includes not only meditation and breathing but also physical postures or asanas.
As we break yoga down into its three components, it becomes clear that its benefits arise from either the meditation and breathing aspect or the stretching stability and strength aspect, with the meditation and breathing components of yoga helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
Yoga is a fascinating practice. Millions of people around the world practice yoga every day and millions more question the importance of the practice.
When it comes to my personal wellness and health toolbox, diet and nutrition stand side by side as a well-understood and highly discussed topic. Whereas Yoga on the other hand sits as an important tool that is not well understood and rarely used a few years back.
What are the most important benefits of yoga?
Yoga offers a holistic approach that includes both physical and mental training, which is why yoga is often attributed to the many health benefits that provide. Yoga provides many benefits, including boosting immune function, promoting better sleep and improving mental clarity, and focusing on stretching stability, and strength.
Here are 10 science-based benefits of yoga you should know.
5 Physical Benefits of Yoga
1. Build Strength and Stamina
It builds strength Yoga movements help build muscle strength by using body weight as resistance and moving through them while doing yoga, this also helps you build stamina
2. Flexibility and Strength of Muscles
A study conducted in China in 2015 found that yoga has a profound effect on the flexibility and strength of muscles. Which shows up as early as week 12. While yoga works the whole body, more vigorous forms of exercise do more to strengthen muscles.
It increases flexibility and improves balance flexibility and balance are essential for the body to move and function efficiently, the former preventing your muscles from pulling against bones, while ensuring that you have a solid balance you must avoid injuries from slipping and falling.
Studies have shown that biweekly yoga sessions helped male college athletes improve their flexibility and balance in just 10 weeks.
3. Improves Heart Health
it improves heart health even though yoga doesn’t get your heart pumping like cardio exercise. This can still help your cardiovascular health as you move through the positions and keeping them up against the resistance of your body weight works the heart and helps build cardiovascular endurance.
It helps to relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints due to inflammation which can affect physical function and make it difficult and painful to walk.
Yoga can help in relieving the symptoms of arthritis as it makes the body more flexible and you do not need to put extra strain on your body, you just need to move with your body weight thereby supporting yourself. Makes it easy to exercise without pushing too hard.
4. Reduce Back Pain
It can reduce back pain. Yoga has long been recommended for people with chronic back pain.
Yoga not only makes those muscles more flexible, but it also keeps your joints aligned and under less stress, which helps improve posture.
5. Help in Losing Weight
It can help in losing weight Yoga may not be as intense as cardio exercise but it helps you lose weight One hour of power yoga can help you burn up to 284 calories which when combined with a balanced diet Can help you slim down and maintain your weight.
What are the 5 Mental Benefits of Yoga?
There are a lot of people who know about the physical side of yoga but let’s see what is happening in this mental battleground and how yoga can really help you. I want to talk to you about the psychological benefits of yoga.
1. Good for Stress and Anxiety
It can help reduce stress The breathing techniques employed in yoga can help reduce stress in a similar way to meditation. It can help you improve your quality of life by reducing anxiety and stress. Yoga can help with all of these as well as improve sleep.
Yoga is good for anxiety. why? That’s because when you practice yoga the objective is to really come into this present moment and we can breathe or we do it by focusing on the posture that we were doing and so when we are spending time in the present moment we are coming away from this future that doesn’t exist and it happens when we feel anxious when we start getting overwhelmed with what to do come the unknown. we start making up these mental stories about this future which is actually not even real and so when we do yoga.
2. Good for Depression
Yoga is good for depression and so unlike anxiety where you are living in this future depression, you are usually in the past living, you might be sad about something that’s gone and you might be missing someone and so like anxiety depression even though it’s on different ends of the spectrum the same condition that We’re going to have yoga, that’s going to bring you out of these realms that are only real in this illusory mind and so it brings you into this present moment and we let go of all that so anxiety and depression both these yogas are amazing
3. Good for the Relationship
Yoga is good for the relationship that you have with yourself and so when you’re taking the time to sit on your mat every day if you can But even when you can tell your body on a subconscious level that you are worthy of self-love because when you’re practicing yoga you’re basically practicing self-love, you getting in tune with your breath and your body and you’re giving yourself space in all four corners of your mat and it’s just you and you and so you start to really become aware of the body, the mind calm And you’re developing a really positive relationship with yourself and it’s amazing.
You start to be more patient with yourself. You become more relaxed, especially when it comes to things like extremely trying to get into poses or one day your balance might not be as good as it was before, and instead of beating yourself up you just have this patience and compassion for yourself.
4. Improve Connection with Others
It helps you to improve your connection with others. So when you’re practicing yoga and you’re developing this wonderful connection with yourself, you’re becoming more patient, you’re becoming more compassionate, and it’s all going on on the mat. The rest of your life starts to ripple and your relationships with others start to ripple. You start to be more patient with others. You start to get less agitated by others.
So those little things with your family, with your friends. do what maybe once before in your yoga days there may be something in you that you can just come back to your breath and breathe again in that present moment and you can just let things go very smoothly so that you can have this wonderful relationship you develop not only with yourself but with other people and people you’ll thank yourself and your friends will thank you for it and
5. Improve Memory and Concentration
Basically in yoga we are focusing on developing what we call dharana and this is a point of attention we do this often when we do mudras by focusing on a diverse point and this helps us to maintain our balance.
So if we are in a standing balance posture then we will get a point on which we will focus and that will help us to remain in the posture for a longer period so when we again do sadhana on the mat then this is going to ripple through the rest of your life so your meditation is going to be better because you can focus on the breath on the body and you can do any kind of work like this.
You will see the benefits of what you are doing any kind of study just on your work, your memory, better concentration, better work, that you are going to do and
So these are our five benefits, we can reduce anxiety, reduce depression. You can establish this wonderful relationship with it. Arm yourself with number three with number four and then imbibe the skills of memory and concentration that you’ll see on the mat and off the mat. That’s why one of the many reasons that we practice yoga.
Well, I have some practical ideas for you to start practicing yoga.
How You Can Start Practicing Yoga?
First, you can practice each yoga element separately – meditation, breathing, and stillness stretching sessions by following YouTube videos. There are a ton of quality videos available out there.
Good thing yoga requires very little – a quiet space and finally a mat, you can try a yoga session at your local yoga studio, making sure however you choose one do the practice that best suits your individual needs so you don’t fall asleep.
I hope this blog helps clear up some confusion about yoga and its benefits. So practice yoga and stay strong mentally and physically!
Read more blogs on The Benefits of Yoga | Yoga Benefits for Mental Health, Ancient Secrets of Breathing Science- Relation Between Breath Mind and The Universe, “Hope Molecules” – The Secret to Mental Health! How to live a healthy lifestyle?
He is the Founder and CEO of the Training and Counselling Company ‘Brain Soul & You’. He is an NLP Wellness Coach, Life Coach, Brain analyst, and Trainer for Education, Corporate, and Entrepreneurship. For more than 7 years, he delivered presentations on entrepreneurship, mind programming, and motivation. He did his B.tech in IT and later choose to be a successful psychologist. He is helping people in various ways through his counseling and training sessions.