7 Benefits of Yoga Practice
Yoga has been evolved with human history for more than 5,000 years. The number of people practicing yoga is still increasing. Nearly 30% of Americans had tried practicing yoga. There was a forecast that by 2020, the yogis’ number will exceed 55 million people in the United States.
Yoga offers positive effects on both mental health and physical health. If you suffer from chronic pain, recover from surgery, or have trouble with sleeping, practicing yoga is an effective way to help you get through all these issues. Even though you are not suffering from pain, you can practice yoga and still benefit from it. Here are some benefits that yoga could offer you.
1. Improves flexibility
Regardless of your age, most yoga poses can improve your flexibility. A study was conducted in 2015 to research whether yoga could improve flexibility. During the study, 150 adults were divided into two groups. Participants in Group one were asked to practice yoga 1 hour a week for 3 months straight. On the other hand, Group two was asked to do what they used to do as normal.
The result is very obvious. Participants from Group 1 have distinct improvements in their flexibility. Most of them, after three months of yoga practice, could perform certain poses that they could not do before the study.
2. Builds muscle strength
Yoga does not only improve your flexibility, it also can improve your strength at the same time. Muscles link our bodies. Certain poses are very physical, such as Plank, Dolphin Push-up, and Airplane. Those yoga poses are similar to the strength training we usually do at home or the gym. All you need is a small open area, you don’t need any equipment to practice those poses.
3. Perfects your posture
Many office workers who sit in front of the computer for several hours every day suffer from spinal disc herniation. One of the greatest benefits that yoga has is that you understand your body and connect your mind with it as you practice yoga continuously. The more you practice, the greater sense you have of your body. Therefore, you can sense whether your head, shoulders, or spine aligns properly.
4. Improve Heart health
Although yoga does not increase your heart rate as high as other aerobics, it can still boost your heart rate up to the aerobic range. A study indicates that people who are 40 years old and have been practicing yoga for over 5 years have relevantly lower blood pressure compared to peers who do not practice yoga.
During the practice, you will mostly find yourself relaxed and your mind is at peace. Continuous practice of yoga could decrease your stress which one of the critical factors of heart disease.
5. Could promote sleep quality
According to a study conducted by Manjunath and Telles, participants in the Yoga group – People who practice the physical postures, relaxation techniques, and regulated breathing of yoga could sleep approximately 60 minutes long and fall asleep 10 minutes earlier compared to the Ayurveda group and No Intervention group.
6. Relieve chronic pain
Many people suffer persistent chronic pain that could cause by injury or recovery from surgery. Researchers from all over the world have published plenty of studies regarding how yoga could reduce chronic pain and the number is still increasing. In one of the researches, a group of 42 participants who have chronic pain in their carpal practice yoga for eight weeks. At the end of the study, participants give feedback that the pain has been relieved distinctly.
Mindfulness is one of the key concepts and reasons for yoga practice. During the practice, you control your breath, pay attention to any sensation your body detects, any thoughts emerge in your head, and control your emotion to reach a peaceful mindset.