Here are motivation for practicing yoga. Read this health benefits of yoga.
More flexible, stronger, calmer… Can you come up with 38 health benefits of practicing yoga? You will often hear that the most important thing in yoga is to decide to practice. Here is the real inspiration!
1. Yoga flexibility benefits
A more flexible body is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. In your first yoga class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, let alone backbend. But if you persevere, you will notice that the exercise becomes easier and, over time, you will find yourself in seemingly unattainable positions. Tightening and pain will disappear. That’s no accident.
For example, stiff quadriceps disrupt the proper relationship between the upper leg and the lower leg and thus stress the knees. A stiff back can misaligned the lumbar spine, leading to back pain. And stiff muscles and connective tissues, such as fascia and ligaments, can disrupt proper posture.
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Strong muscles are not just beautiful. They protect us from arthritis and back pain. Older people with more muscle mass risk fewer falls. If you strengthen your body with yoga, it will also be flexible. If you went to the gym and pumped weights instead, you’d probably get stronger at the expense of flexibility.
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3. Correct posture
The head is like a bowling ball – big, round, and heavy. If it is above the upright spine, the muscles of the neck and back easily hold it. Tilt your head just a few centimeters forward and you force your muscles to work overtime. So who wouldn’t get tired of holding such a ball for eight or even twelve hours a day? Exhaustion is not the only problem here. Poor posture can affect the muscles and joints of the back, neck, and shoulders. If you are constantly hunched over, the body will straighten the otherwise natural curves of the neck and lower back, which in turn can cause pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine.
4. Movable joints
Every time you practice yoga, you put your joints through a full range of motion. Thus, you can prevent the onset of degenerative arthritis or relieve pain by squeezing and “squeezing” otherwise inactive areas of cartilage. Articular cartilage is like a sponge; it receives nutrients only by exchanging fluids—we squeeze out the old so that the new brings in nutrients. Without proper nutrition, the neglected parts of the cartilage wear out like old brakes and make way for the bone they were protecting.
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5. Vital spine
Spinal discs – the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can bulge and pinch nerves – cry out for movement. This is the only way they get nutrients. If you exercise in a balanced way, meaning with enough back, forward, and spine twists, you’ll help your discs stay mobile.
6. Strong bones
Numerous studies show that lifting weights strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis. In many yoga poses, we lift our own weight. For example, downward dog, for example, strengthens the bones of the hands, which are especially vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures. In an unpublished study from the University of California, Los Angeles, yoga improves the density of the vertebrae. Yoga also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol (see 11), thus helping bones conserve calcium.
7. Better circulation
Yoga revives the blood flow. Specifically, yoga practiced relaxation will stimulate circulation, especially in the hands and feet. Cells get more oxygen. Due to torsion, venous blood leaves the internal organs, and when we leave the position, blood full of oxygen flows into the organs. Inversions, such as standing on the head, arms, and shoulders, drain the blood from the legs and pelvis towards the heart and further towards the lungs, where it takes in fresh oxygen.
If your legs are swelling due to heart and kidney problems, these positions or their adaptations may help. Yoga also raises the levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues. Platelets become less sticky while the number of proteins involved in the formation of blood clots decreases. We are less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
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8. Strengthened immune system
We improve lymph drainage (viscous fluid rich in immune system cells) every time we tighten or lengthen muscles, enter or exit yoga poses, move organs, or enter or exit yoga poses. The lymphatic system then fights infections better, destroys cancerous cells, and flushes out toxic cellular waste.
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9. A happier heart
If you often bring your heart rate into the aerobic zone, you reduce the likelihood of a heart attack and your susceptibility to depression. Although not all styles of yoga are aerobic, if you practice harder or according to the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga system, you can be in the aerobic zone. Even exercises that don’t get the heart pumping can strengthen the circulatory system.
10. Lower pressure
If you have high blood pressure, yoga could lower it. Two studies compared how hypertensive people were affected by a yoga position of deep relaxation and simply lying on a couch. After three months, the yogic position lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 26 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 15. The higher the pressure, the greater the drop.
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11. Less stress
Yoga lowers cortisol levels. If you just thought, “So what?” –continue reading. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol in extremely stressful situations, which temporarily strengthens the immune system. If cortisol remains elevated even after a crisis situation, it can weaken the immune system. Short-term increases in cortisol help long-term memory, but chronically high levels impair memory and can lead to permanent changes in the brain.
In addition, excessive levels of cortisol are associated with severe depression, osteoporosis (which leaks calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with bone repair), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. High cortisol makes rats overeat when they are worried, angry, or stressed. The body then turns excess calories into abdominal fat, becoming heavier and more susceptible to diabetes and heart attack.
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12. Natural happiness
Are you sad again? Sit in the lotus position. Or better yet, soar royally into a backbend. Although it is not so easy to get rid of depression, one study proved that regular yoga practice relieves depression, significantly increases serotonin levels, and reduces monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol levels. Dr. Richard Davidson found that meditators’ left prefrontal cortex works harder, resulting in a happier mood and a stronger immune system. Pronounced activation of the left side of the prefrontal cortex is characteristic of serious, long-term meditators.
13. Looking fit
Everyone who follows a diet will say this: Move more, eat less. Yoga can help with both. Regular exercise activates your body and burns calories, while the spiritual and emotional dimensions of exercise can encourage you to look at the problem with eating on a deeper level. Yoga can also teach you to eat more mindfully.
14. Goodbye to sugar and cholesterol!
Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol. For diabetics, yoga lowers blood sugar in several ways: it lowers cortisol and adrenaline levels, helps with weight loss, and enhances the effects of insulin. If you reduce blood sugar, you reduce the likelihood of diabetes complications: heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.
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15. Trained brain
An important part of yoga is being in the present. Research shows that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even scores on intelligence tests. TM meditators solve problems more easily and remember things faster, probably because they are less distracted by random thoughts that can spin endlessly in a closed loop.
16. Thicker nerves
Yoga helps you relax, concentrate on the present and slow down your breathing. Thus, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and calms down the sympathetic (“fight or flight”). The parasympathetic system calms and relaxes, slows breathing and heartbeat, lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow to the intestines and sexual organs. Doctor Herbert Benson calls it the relaxation response.
17. Finding your way in the body
Regular yoga practice improves proprioception (awareness of body activity and its position in space) and the sense of balance. People with poor posture or dysfunctional movement patterns generally have poor proprioception, which is linked to problematic knees and back pain.
A better sense of balance could mean fewer falls. This means more independence for the elderly and, later (if at all), admission to a nursing home.For others, the yoga tree pose will make us less hesitant, in yoga or in life.
18. I am my own boss
Some advanced yogis can control their bodies in extraordinary ways, many of which are related to the nervous system. Scientists followed yogis who could manage their heartbeats, specific brain frequencies, and raise the temperature of their palms by 8 degrees Celsius. If they can do all that, maybe you can learn how to improve blood flow to your pelvis if you’re trying to get pregnant or how to relax when you’re suffering from insomnia.
19. Rest from chronic fatigue
Do you ever find yourself crushing your phone or steering wheel with an iron grip, or squinting your face while looking at the monitor? These unconscious habits result in chronic tension, muscle fatigue, and pain in the joints of the hands, arms, shoulders, neck, and face, which in turn increase stress and worsen mood.
While practicing yoga, you begin to notice where you accumulate tension—perhaps in your tongue, eyes, or neck and face muscles. If you simply learn to pay attention, you will be able to release some of the tension from your eyes and tongue. It may take several years to consciously relax larger muscles such as the quadriceps, trapezius, or gluteus.
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20. Paradise for nerves
Stimulation is desirable, but too much stimulation will tax your nervous system. Yoga can become a real refuge in the rush of modern life. Rejuvenating poses, yoga nidra (a type of guided relaxation), deep relaxation postures, and meditation all help turn the senses inward, which provides much needed rest to the nervous system. Another side benefit of regular yoga practice is better sleep, which means you’ll be less tired and stressed.
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21. Meditation to health
Although asana and pranayama ( breathing exercises ) may improve immunity, meditation has the best documented effect in this area.It seems to have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system, boosting it (for example, raising the level of antibodies after vaccination) or calming it down (relieving the unwanted aggressive behavior of the immune system in autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis).
22. Full lungs ahead
Yogis breathe less often and with fuller lungs, which is calming and more effective. In a 1998 study, people who had difficulty breathing due to congestive heart failure were taught the yogic technique of complete breathing. After one month, their average breathing rate dropped from 13.4 breaths per minute to 7.6. They also started exercising better because they had more oxygen in their blood.
In addition, yoga has been proven to improve various lung functions, including maximum inspiratory volume and exhalation efficiency. Yoga also helps us breathe through our nose, which filters the air, warms it (cold and dry air can lead to an asthma attack in sensitive people), and humidifies and removes pollen, dirt, and other things you don’t want in your lungs.
Ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation—all of them are aggravated by stress. So, if you are less stressed, you will suffer less. Yoga, like any exercise, can help with constipation—and thus theoretically reduce the risk of colon cancer—because movement helps to transport food and waste products through the intestines more quickly. Although not yet scientifically confirmed, yogis claim that torsions accelerate the excretion of waste products.
24. Calm mind
According to Patanjali’s yoga sutras, yoga calms the modifications of the mind. If we translate it, yoga untangles the mental loops of frustrations, unregretted situations, anger, fear, and desires, which all lead to stress. And since stress is an integral part of many health problems—from migraines to insomnia to lupus, multiple sclerosis, eczema, high blood pressure, and heart attacks—if you learn to calm your mind, you’ll likely live longer and healthier.
25. Emotional and spiritual health
Many of us suffer from a chronic lack of self-confidence. If you approach it negatively-taking pills, overeating, working or sleeping too much-you will pay with poorer physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you take a positive approach and practice yoga, you will feel, at first for a while, then for a long time, that you are worth it or, according to yogic philosophy, that you are a manifestation of the divine.
If you regularly practice yoga observing your thoughts and reactions with the intention of improving yourself, you will gain access to a different dimension of your being.
You will experience gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness, as well as a sense of being part of a greater whole. Although better health is not the goal of spirituality, it is often a side effect, as repeated scientific research shows.
26. Help with pain
Yoga can reduce your pain. Several studies show that yogic postures, meditation, or a combination thereof, reduce pain in arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other chronic conditions. If you are in less pain, you will be in a better mood, be more active and need fewer medicines.
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27. A fresh commitment
Yoga can bring changes to your life. In fact, this may be her greatest strength. Tapas, the Sanskrit word for yara, is the fire, the discipline that drives yoga and is ignited by regular practice. Tapas will help you burn inertia and change dysfunctional habits. Without any special effort, you will start eating healthier, exercising more, or finally quit smoking after years of unsuccessful attempts.
28. Guidance and support
Good yoga teachers can do wonders for your health. Great teachers don’t just walk you through the poses. They can adjust the yoga pose for you, encourage you to explore it more deeply or to give in. I can compassionately point out your shortcomings, help you relax, and adapt the exercise to your exact needs.
29. Less medicine
If you have enough medicine at home for a small pharmacy, maybe it’s time to try yoga. Research shows that yoga has helped people with asthma, type 2 diabetes, and obsessive-compulsive disorder reduce their medication doses and sometimes stop taking them altogether. If you use fewer medicines, you will spend less money, but there is a possibility of side effects or unwanted interactions of various medicines.
30. Anger under control
Yoga and meditation develop awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it will be to let go of destructive emotions like anger. Research suggests that chronic anger and hostile behavior are as risky for heart attack as smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Yoga calms anger by increasing compassion and a sense of connection, as well as calming the nervous system and thoughts. It also helps you step away from the drama of your life and keep calm when things go wrong. You can still react quickly if necessary-yoga has been proven to reduce reaction time-but a moment earlier you can also choose a more thoughtful response and not cause pain to yourself or others.
31. More harmonious relationships
Love may not conquer all, but it certainly helps us heal. Having the emotional support of friends, family, and the community is always beneficial to one’s health.Regular yoga practice helps us to be more accommodating, compassionate and calm. With a yogic philosophy that emphasizes non-violence, truthfulness, and modesty, your relationships can only get better
32. Good vibes
The basic elements of yoga-asana, pranayama, and meditation-have a beneficial effect on health, but that’s not all. Chanting the syllable Om lengthens the exhalation, which balances the nervous system. Recent research from the Swedish Karolinska Institute links the chanting of the syllable Om with the opening and purification of the sinuses.
33. Imagine the change
If you hold a certain image in your mind, as in yoga nidra and similar exercises, you can initiate a change in the body. Several studies show that guided visualization reduces postoperative pain, the frequency of headaches, and improves the quality of life of cancer and AIDS patients.
34. Cleansing the organism
Kriyas, or cleansing exercises, are another element of yoga. These include exercises ranging from rapid breathing to thorough internal bowel cleansing. Jala neti, a gentle rinsing of the nasal passages with salt water, removes pollen and viruses from the nose, prevents the accumulation of mucus and helps empty the sinuses.
35. Help others
Karma yoga (helping others) is an integral part of yogic philosophy. Even if the idea doesn’t appeal to you, helping others is good for your health. A University of Michigan study found that older people who volunteered just under an hour a week tripled their odds of being alive after seven years. If you help others, you may find meaning in life, and your own problems will be smaller compared to other people’s.
36. Hope for health
In conventional medicine, most patients are in a passive role. In yoga, the most important thing is what you do for yourself. Yoga gives you the tools to encourage change, and you will most likely feel better after the first practice. You will notice that the more you commit to exercise, the greater the benefits. Once you start taking care of yourself in this way, you will find that working on yourself gives you the strength to change, and when you see changes, you will awaken hope in yourself. And hope itself can heal.
37. Everything is connected
You’ve probably noticed a lot of overlap in the ways yoga improves your health. This is because they are very intertwined. Change the position of your body and you have changed your breathing. Change your breathing and you will change your nervous system. That is one of the great lessons of yoga: everything is connected, femur to shin, you to the community, your community to the world.
To understand connection is to understand yoga. This holistic system simultaneously activates numerous mechanisms whose effects add up and sometimes even multiply. This synergy may be the main way yoga heals.
38. Placebo effect or not?
If you believe it will get better, it probably will. Unfortunately, many conventional scientists consider the placebo method to be unworthy of attention. But most patients just want it to get better, so if chanting a mantra—which you might do at the beginning of a yoga therapy or in meditation—helps healing, even if it’s a placebo, why not try it?
More for learn: The Benefits of Yoga: 38 Ways Your Practice Can Improve Your Life by Yogajournal.com