Why do yoga? Yoga has been around for a long time. And I mean a LONG TIME! Its beginnings were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago.
But it is only in the last 5-10 years where yoga has greatly increased in popularity. So many people (both men and women) are doing yoga on a regular basis. Most of them do it as it really tones up the whole body. It helps you look great. But there are actually many other benefits of yoga. So what are they?
So why do yoga? Well poor posture is getting far too common. Seeing as the majority of us sit in front of a computer for most of the day, our posture generally starts sagging half way through the day. This is when our muscles in our neck and back get fatigued. If this happens often enough (it does for most of us), then our posture will suffer. We start to slouch and this leads to permanent damage. That is unless we do something about it. Yoga does a great job in strengthening our core which includes our spine and neck. Yoga can actually repair our bad posture by strengthening the right muscles. But be warned, the worse your posture, the longer it will take to repair.
Another of the benefits of yoga is it helps us build muscle. Sure strong muscles look great on guys and tones muscles look great on ladies. But strong muscles do more than just look good. They protect our bodies from injuries, body pains, and medical conditions such as arthritis. This is especially important as you get older. Yoga helps us build muscle and it also helps us become more flexible. This is in direct contrast to if we just went to the gym to build muscle, we would actually limit our flexibility. Flexibility as well as muscles are key to a healthy body.
Protects The Spine
We already mentioned that one of the benefits of yoga is that it improves posture. But more importantly it protects our spine. Spinal disks act like shock absorbers to protect our vertebrae. But many of us don’t know that they need constant movement to stay at their best. The less they move the more fragile they become. Yoga helps our spinal disks by all the different types of movements. Bending forward, backwards, side to side, and twists. Our spinal disks love yoga.
Increases Blood Flow
Do you get cold hand or feet? You probably have an issue with your blood circulation. Why do yoga? Well yoga can help increase your blood flow especially those relaxation exercises you learn in yoga. These are combined with breathing techniques to get more oxygen into our cells and function better as a result. Twist poses can help move along stagnant blood in our system and headstands can recirculate blood from our feet and legs. Yoga can also help prevent blood clots and decrease the chance of heart disease and strokes.
Lowers Blood Pressure
One of the many health benefits of yoga is that it can lower blood pressure. So if you suffer from high blood pressure, yoga may be a great solution. There have been multiple studies on the positive effects that yoga has on high blood pressure.
Regulates Your Adrenal Glands
Are you still asking yourself, why do yoga? Yoga helps regulate your adrenal glands. Yoga lowers cortisol levels. And did you know that excess cortisol levels are linked to depression, osteoporosis, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure? In addition to this, excess cortisol levels can lead to uncontrolled food cravings. And yoga can help with all this!
Cheers You Up
Seems strange, how can yoga cheer you up and make you happier? Studies have shown that consistently doing yoga can make you happier. How? Well yoga can significantly increase serotonin levels and decrease levels of monoamine oxidase and cortisol. This all leads to us being happier. Another great reason to practice yoga regularly.
Do you struggle with stress or anxiety? Then this is one of the reasons for why do yoga. Yoga helps you focus on the now. Not what you are doing after yoga or what you have on tomorrow. You focus only on what you are doing. You also slow your breathing and focus on that also. Your breathing should bee consistent and follows your poses. This all leads to lower heart rates and your body enters relaxation mode as apposed to ‘fight’ mode. This all leads to a decrease in blood pressure and does great things for our blood flow.
Get A Better Night Sleep
Trouble sleeping and a lack of sleep is another major issue in todays society. Sleep is so important for us to function at our best. Or anywhere near it really. And one of the benefits of yoga is that it can help us sleep better. This is especially true for those who suffer from insomnia. Research has shown that in as little as 8 weeks, yoga can help those with insomnia sleep better. It helps your mind relax and stops your mind from racing when you are trying to sleep. No more need for medication to sleep. This is one of the great benefits of yoga.
It All Ends With…
At the end of each yoga class, you will experience the savasana ‘pose’. We use the term pose lightly as it involves laying on your back with your arms extended and your legs slightly apart. This pose focuses on relaxing the mind and restore your body. Breathe deeply in through your nose and raising your stomach, and out through your mouth. Your stomach will then fall. And repeat. You are now ready to start your day on a great note and you have just done so many great things for your body.
So I hope that this answered the question why do yoga. With so many benefits of yoga, I hope that you understand the importance of yoga and why you should practice it at least 3 times a week.
Heading to a yoga class? Don’t forget your shaker bottle for a post workout protein shake.
What has your experience been with yoga? Has it fixed any health condition or improved your posture? Did it make you happier? Or has it done nothing for you at all? We would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.