What Are the Health Benefits of Yoga?
Wow, where to begin. You know, you can easily google “yoga for health,“ or “what does yoga help with,“ or “physical benefits of yoga,“ and I think you would be blown away at all yoga can accomplish and yoga’s health benefits. What I want to express here is my 38 years of experience, and how I see and feel yoga benefiting me. Specifically, physical benefits of yoga, even though a lot of the physical benefits are a direct by-product of the mental benefits.
So, maybe a nice way to dive into this subject is to consider physical yoga’s objective. I like to describe yoga’s goal as ”wellness.“ It’s not meant to achieve peak performance or aesthetic beauty, which can actually be opposed to health and wellness. When you think about wellness, you have to consider the “whole“ body, considering the integrity of the web is dependent on the resiliency of each strand. As we could never feel our best with a bunch of dead, atrophied, stagnant areas in our bodies. Just like each morning and night, we brush all our teeth, not just the front one’s that affect us aesthetically. This is why in yoga, you see all these different poses. All these poses are, is a creative way to access body parts so you can care for them the only way you can care for anything, which is to touch it gently. These poses also help maintain range of motion, helping us stay comfortable doing the activities we love to do deeper into old age. The body regenerates itself through circulation, which is facilitated by stimulation. So, these movements stimulating all these different places in the body increase circulation to the body parts, flushing in nutrient-rich blood and flushing out toxins, which is the job of our blood. Sometimes I wonder why we had to go all the way to India for this? Why could we not have figured this out ourselves?
Some of the benefits are: Elasticity, not just in the muscles but all the body’s tissues. Believe it or not, connective tissue might have a bigger effect on how you walk around feeling in your body than the muscles themselves. This not only helps us age more comfortably and gracefully, but also adds a freedom and ease of movement in the here and now, adding to a feeling of comfort within the body and aiding in energy levels, as now you are not expending excess energy in one’s movements fighting against the tension within the body’s tissue. Elasticity is a major factor in injury prevention, as well. Depending on the type or style of yoga one practices, we can develop tone, stamina, balance and even achieve cardio. Add elasticity to this, and you have the most complete exercise I have ever seen. A well-rounded yoga practice is the ultimate cross-training.
Add to all that any benefits from sweating, deep breathing, dissolving tension (relaxation) and quieting the mind (a by-product of deep breathing), and we really have something very special here. Lastly, we need no equipment, no props. It’s so simple, we can take it anywhere and do it almost everywhere. Especially with poweryoga.com streaming online classes from 10 minutes to 2 hours. The only thing you need is internet.