The many benefits of yoga beyond flexibility [Video]

  • Yoga has more benefits than just helping you be more flexible or relaxed.
  • Benefits of a good yoga practice go beyond the physical, also helping your mindset in stressful situations.
  • Yoga can also help you know your body and your mind better.

Yoga is known to help reduce stress and encourage flexibility. However, there are many other benefits to a good yoga practice. Here are a few reasons you might want to start rolling out a mat.

Yoga is for everyone

After taking a few classes, you might be able to find a style of yoga or an instructor that’s perfect for your pace, personality, as well as your goals. Owner of Sattva Yoga Studios, Ali Valdez, in Redmond, Washington says, “Yoga is all about leaving ego at the door and most students discover that yoga is for everybody.”

Yoga can be a legitimate workout

Stress reduction and flexibility are things that you’d probably expect after a yoga class, but not feeling sore the day after. You can also be surprised by the relaxation and sense of challenge you feel after completing a class that you expect to be easy, according to yoga instructor Heidi Keith.

You’ll start having yoga goals

Everyone’s familiar with goals relating to fitness and weight-loss, but having a steady yoga practice can also see you setting a few goals that are yoga-specific. Valdez says that popular goals are being able to touch one’s toes or do a handstand. Maybe there are other yoga poses you want to be able to do or hold longer.

Stressful situations won’t have you holding your breath

Photo Credit: akyra Thonglor Bangkok.

Yoga for women has the significant benefit of helping manage stress. As yoga helps you practice your breathing, even through difficult poses, you may find you can take a deep breath during stressful situations instead of holding it in (which can actually worsen your stress).

Your other sports and activities benefit too

You may be able to see that doing yoga won’t just help you feel better overall, you may see that there’s a difference in your hobbies too. Anne Phyfe Palmer, founder of 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle, Washington, said, “I distinctly remember the first snowboard season after I started. I was able to feel the same strength and ability I’d experienced at the end of the previous season the first day on the slopes.

Work becomes enjoyable

Yoga helps with concentration techniques and stress management. This may benefit your work, increasing your satisfaction and lessening your distraction when you’re on the job.

Know yourself better

After starting a yoga practice, you start being more aware of your body’s cues. Palmer says that in class, students cultivate body awareness and that usually “follows them out of the yoga room.”

Keith says that over time, students can find more interest in the mind side of the yoga practice too. You may look to meditation more and focus on your breathing techniques. Valdez says that post-practice, most practitioners feel calmer and more grounded.

Your diet improves

Practicing yoga may also lead you to eating healthier because you are more mindful and aware of your body. You may note how you may or may not perform better at an activity because of certain foods and adjust your diet according to that.

Your body and mind become more open

Openness can mean being closer to doing splits or maybe lessening of lower back and hamstring tightness. It may not be just your body, but your mind becoming more open too. You can find inner peace and an open heart that weathers through life’s challenges.

Source: The Healthy

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