The ancient science of yoga which traces its roots back to India is as popular in the Western world as it is in the East. The reason is not just a way of improving your health but also a way of bringing inner peace by controlling the mind.
Apart from the body exercises, the inclusion of pranayama (breath-work) is what makes yoga a complete mind-body practice. Once you delve into the practice of yoga, you slowly begin to understand how it affects your mind and body simultaneously. You feel rejuvenated and refreshed from within.
Though in the modern world, yoga is accepted more as a way of improving physical health but in reality, it’s much more. If practised the way it is meant to be, it can bring a myriad of benefits to you. Discussed below are 7 such life-improving benefits that yoga practitioners enjoy:
Exuberance and Confidence
Research by University of California has already proved that people who practice yoga on a daily basis tend to be more satisfied with their own bodies as compared to people who performed aerobic exercises. All that stretching, breathing and focus clears away mental obstructions and makes the body healthy and fit. As a result, you tend to be more self-possessed, confident and exuberant in your behaviour.
Goodbye to Body Aches
Lack of movement and exercise over the years can weaken the muscles leading to pain and discomfort. However, with yoga it is possible to strengthen those weak muscles and get rid of pain. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the U.S. yoga helps people who are suffering from back pain and an improved quality of life. Also, with regular practice, the body posture changes which automatically strengthens the muscles.
Improved Sleep Pattern
Based on studies by NSF (National Sleep Foundation), yoga not only helps with good sleep but also those suffering from insomnia. When people with insomnia practice yoga on a day-to-day basis, they are bound to witness changes in their sleep patterns like falling asleep faster, returning to sleep quickly and sleeping soundly for longer hours. Yoga has been found to benefit even pregnant women and people suffering from cancer.
Opportunity to Spend Time with ‘Self’
Yes, yoga allows you to connect with yourself and know about yourself in a better way. Yoga is your chance to introspect and find out about your capabilities, limitations and more. In this fast-paced world, people hardly get any time to look upon themselves and yoga is the way to get that freedom. Unless you know yourself, learn to love yourself, how can you usher your love for something else? Delve deep into meditation and open the doors to know more about you and your feelings from within.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
If you look into the definition of this ancient age-old science – it says, yoga is just not a mere practice, it is a way of life. Your entire mind and body is affected in such a positive way that you wouldn’t think of making any unhealthy choices. Starting from good food choices to good hygiene to discipline in life, yoga nurtures you and directs you towards a path of goodness.
Increased Stamina and Strong Muscles
Yoga is huge, and to grasp everything in one life is certainly a difficult task. There are numerous forms of asanas and each of them has a specific purpose and targets different parts of the body. No matter whether you follow Ashtanga Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, etc. with daily practice your body muscles are toned and strengthened. Maintaining the postures allows you to develop stamina without the need of extra weights.
Though in the beginning when you start practicing yoga, you may fall while trying to maintain your balance but, with practice, it becomes easy. Involving yourself in the daily practice of asanas helps you enhance your core strength. As a result, slowly but gradually you learn to maintain your postures and improve your sense of balance. Asanas like Tree Pose, Natarajasana, Mountain Pose, etc. are good for body balance and also offer a lot of health benefits.
It would be unfair to say that yoga is only limited to the benefits mentioned above. These are actually a fraction of the benefits that yoga offers to us.
The science of life has a much broader perspective which is impossible to define in words. So, start with your yoga practice and witness it for yourself.
You can also learn about the importance of body-mind connection on the 42 days of self-development program.