Yoga practice has become very popular in the last decade. Much is said about the benefits of yoga poses, and with a consistent practice you are guaranteed to see physical and mental improvements.

The truth is that yoga provides many benefits beyond the physical. There is a feeling of fullness that you can achieve with its practice. This is what makes yoga so addictive and for good reason.

Origins of Yoga

As you begin your yoga practice, you start to think: who knew breathing and moving slowly would feel so good?

The reality is that yoga was created for religious reasons, not physical. Yoga is first mentioned hundreds of years ago, specifically in the year 3,000 B.C., in sacred Indian books that make up part of the ancient writings of Hinduism, and even in pictographic registers carved in stones that show different yoga poses, found in the Indus Valley.

Yoga was first created as a practice to achieve harmony and balance between heart and soul. As time went by, they realized that those who practiced it lived longer, suffered fewer illnesses and saw a reduction in chronic pain.

This practice was maintained over time and its benefits were passed from generation to generation, crossing borders and cultures.

Physical Health Benefits Of Yoga: What Science Has To Say

The silence, the breathing and concentration needed for each yoga pose allows us to be more aware of our physical habits, muscular biomechanics and our body in general — in addition to taking time away from the daily routine.

It is time for you to discover the physical health benefits of yoga:

  • Improves flexibility

One of the obvious benefits of yoga is the improvement in flexibility — even the simplest, smallest practice gets the ball rolling.

Yoga increases your range of motion through a gradual loosening of the muscles and a stretching of the ligaments in the joints. You will notice an increase in flexibility mainly in your back, thighs, hips and shoulders. No matter your age, yoga will help reduce age related joint stiffness.

  • Better coordination and balance

Performing yoga postures requires careful control and concentration. Thanks to this, yoga has been shown to improve eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity and walking posture.

Have you ever imagined yourself holding on one leg? Don't think it's impossible, with yoga you can do it!

  • Relief from back pain

Thanks to the stretching achieved in the various poses of yoga and the increase in the range of motion of the joints, the practice helps relieve pain in the lower back, relaxing the pressure on the lumbar spine.

Emotional and Social Benefits Of Doing Yoga At Home Or At A Studio

The mental health benefits of yoga are huge. Yoga has a great ability to give you emotional balance amidst the chaos of daily life.  

The mix of breath and movement help release your thoughts and emotions, even with a small daily practice at home. If you need another incentive to hit the mat, yoga:

1.    Reduces depression and increases serotonin levels

2.    Lowers irritability

3.    Decreases stress and increases the feelings of relaxation

4.    Enhances self-confidence

In addition, joining a local class has incredible social benefits. Group yoga can be particularly therapeutic for those with social anxiety disorders. Surrounding yourself with positive people all working towards the same goal is shown to reduce states of social anxiety, as the collective experience helps you relax and reduce stressful thoughts.  

How To Bring Yoga Into Your Life

How to start doing yoga? This can feel like the most intimidating part. But the yoga community is a particularly welcoming one and beginners are encouraged and embraced.

The key to performing your first yoga poses is to maintain control of your breath. Remember to take deep breaths through your nose that you slowly release through your mouth. Concentrate on your breath, the movements of your chest and the control and balance of your body as you perform the movements.

Start with yoga poses for beginners, repeat a sequence as many times as necessary until you feel comfortable doing them. Then, you can progress and incorporate them into a routine sequence that is more advanced and generates greater challenges.

Don't panic if you enter a yoga studio and see very flexible people in positions you think you will never be able to achieve. They all started out like you, and beginner positions are designed to prevent you from ending up in A&E.

Decide To Practice Yoga

Yoga has incredible mental and physical health benefits. It’s therapeutic, helps you relax and has been proved to reduce chronic pain, stress, headaches, anxiety, general aches and pains, etc.

Yoga can really make a difference, particularly if you suffer from chronic pain. Start from the very beginning and allow yourself the space to hit the mat. Your body will thank you for it.

Vista Health are proud to provide private healthcare across the UK.

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