Six Astonishing Benefits of Yoga you didn’t know
Yoga has seen an emergence in the west and has been gaining popularity around the world the past couple of decades. A lot of celebrities started practicing yoga, which intrigued their fans and popular media, and eventually yoga became the hip thing to do.
However once people started to get in to the whole yoga fad, they realized that it was actually really good for them. That is why, unlike most short-lived trends, yoga has stood the test of time and is now becoming more popular than ever.
Yoga has a lot of advantages, and many of them are common knowledge in today’s world. People pursue yoga to get in shape, lose excess weight and tone their bodies. More and more people are also practicing yoga because of the stress and anxiety relief it offers. However, there are many other advantages you can gain from practicing yoga, which are not well known.
Yoga is a truly beneficial practice for your mind, body and soul, and to prove that, we have listed below six astonishing benefits of yoga that you surely hadn’t known before:
- Yoga Makes you more Patient
Practicing yoga is no easy task. Of course, when you start as a beginner, your teacher will make you learn the basics as with learning any new thing, and then move up from there. When you practice yoga, you have to hold most poses for at least 30 seconds and sometimes even more.
Plus, you have to make sure you get the pose totally right, from the placement of your feet right up to the tilt of your head. Mastering yoga poses is hence no easy feat. It takes a lot of practice, commitment, trial and error, and patience.
It helps make you more patient, and that is very helpful not only in your personal life but also your professional life. When you are working on a task and it is not getting done as fast as you may have expected, being calm and patient will help you from blowing a fuse.
This will also be beneficial when dealing with difficult personal and work relationships. Certain yoga postures such as the Seated pose are also specifically aimed at improving your patience and helping you be calm headed.
- Yoga Improves Focus at Work
Practicing yoga can actually make you more productive at work. It does this through multiple ways. Firstly, it targets your stress and anxiety, and over time makes you calmer and more relaxed in general. Problems and day-to-day stresses don’t affect you as much as they did before.
Yoga also decreases your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, giving you greater mental clarity. It also helps you be mindful. Being mindful means that you are more aware of the present moment, the ‘Now’. That helps you concentrate at your task at hand, instead of having a wandering mind.
A study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that just twenty minutes of yoga activity can lead to improved cognitive (brain) activity which resulted in participants doing better in tests not only accuracy wise but also speed wise. All these factors work positively to improve work productivity and focus.
- Yoga Strengthens your Immune System
Yoga actually strengthens your immune system as well. One way it does that is through decreasing your stress and anxiety levels. A lot of studies have been conducted that prove that chronic stress leads to a compromised immune system.
When your stress levels are decreased, you feel calmer, and your body benefits from the inside out. Yoga also helps keep your body moving, and exercise is beneficial for a better immune system. Yogis believe that every person has a source of energy running through them, called prana. Sometimes there can be blocks in that energy and that can lead to dis-ease.
Yoga postures are aimed at removing any blocks and ensuring the continuous and easy flow of prana to all parts of the body. This improves your immune system on an energetic level. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga has shown that yoga helps keep your immune system strong even in the presence of external pressure.
- Yoga Detoxifies Your Mind and Body
Yoga practices help you unclutter your mind from the various mundane and useless things that can sometimes get stuck in your head. Meditation is a tool which is used in yoga and that is a great way of decluttering your mind, and improving mind clarity. Yoga can also help detox the body. When practicing certain postures, you have to twist and turn your body and that aids in squeezing out stuck toxins.
Yoga improves all the systems in your body that help in toxic elimination: the circulatory system, the digestive system, the lymphatic system and the eliminatory system as shown by research published in the International Journal of Yoga which goes as far as saying that yoga improves your overall quality of life.
- Yoga Encourages Creativity
Yoga helps you become more creative, and that means you can brainstorm more ideas which can help you get ahead in life. Yoga involves broadening your perspective on life, trying new ideas and embracing a spiritual element in life.
It introduces you to a whole new element of life which you probably were unaware of if you were not in to spirituality before you started practicing yoga. Yoga unclutters your mind from the mundane and helps create space for new ideas. It improves your patience levels which is important for your creativity since getting ideas from mind to reality can sometimes take time and be a tedious process. Artists, writers and musicians are not the only people who can encourage from better creativity. Creativity is something that every person can benefit from in both their personal and work lives. There are many yoga poses that can help spark your creativity. Here’s a resource to help you get started.
- Yoga Improves Sleep Quality
As life becomes busier, more and more people are losing sleep due to various reasons. A large portion of the population is sleep deprived, and more and more people are claiming to be suffering from insomnia. Yoga aids in improving not only your sleep quality but also the time it takes for an individual to fall asleep as shown by a study conducted by Harvard University. Yoga aids in relaxation and that is a big factor in improved sleep quality.
Given the above reasons, it is no surprise that in 2016 alone, the number of Americans who practice yoga has increased to 36 million. More and more people are becoming aware of yoga and want to practice it to reap its many known and lesser known benefits. If you are new to yoga, taking a yoga retreat to an exotic location may just be the perfect way to get started!
An Introduction to Yin YogaBy Robert Wolf Petersen
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