5 Most Important Benefits of Daily Yoga
Yoga is an incredible way to practice self-care. It's the perfect blend of exercise and meditation, the perfect workout for both your body and your mind.
Practicing yoga every day, or even just a few days a week can change your life for the better in several ways. Here are just a few benefits of daily yoga practice.
When most people think of yoga, they think about super flexible people bending themselves into pretzel-like shapes. This is because yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility.
You don't have to be flexible at all to start doing yoga. Each pose can be adapted to your current flexibility level. With consistent yoga practices, your flexibility will gradually improve until you're able to bend yourself into all kinds of shapes.
Yoga is an excellent alternative to traditional strength training for building muscle. You might not think that a low impact activity like yoga builds much muscle, but yoga actually requires a lot of strength.
During a yoga class, you'll hold poses for the length of several breaths. Holding these poses activates several muscle groups simultaneously. In each pose, the muscles are working much the same way they would during a bodyweight strength workout.
In many of the poses, you're supporting almost your entire body weight with specific muscle groups, which gives those muscles an intense workout. Yoga is especially good for building your core muscles because they're activated in every single pose you do.
Yoga is a moving meditation. In a traditional yoga practice, the goal of doing yoga poses is to prepare the mind for meditation. You start with moving meditation, asana, and then settle into stillness for deep meditation, dhyana. To learn more about the eight limbs of yoga and incorporating these into your practice, consider a yoga teacher training program.
Asana, the practice of a series of yoga poses, helps you to focus on linking breath with movement and bringing your focus inward. It helps you move the frenetic energy in your body so you can calm down. The focus on the breath also helps you take deeper breaths, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system to help the body and the mind find calm.
So, yoga helps the mind and body find calm, which leads to less stress.
One study found that 55% of study participants felt they slept better if they practiced yoga. That's not surprising considering yoga helps reduce stress and move energy through the body.
Taking the time to do a few simple yoga poses and focus on your breathing right before bed can help you fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
Decreases Aches and Pains
Most of us deal with nagging aches and pains on a daily basis. Most of these pains can be traced back to muscle tightness and poor posture, which are aggravated by sitting most of the day.
Yoga can help lengthen and loosen the muscles, which can help relieve pain from muscle tightness. Yoga also builds strength and stability, which helps support good posture.
Getting the Benefits of Daily Yoga
Getting the benefits of daily yoga doesn't have to be difficult. You can start by doing a few simple poses each day and building your practice up from there.
Not sure which poses to try? Check out the Yoga Poses section of our site for suggestions.
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