I used to do yoga in college, at least once a week, preferably twice a week, and it really did help to keep my stress levels managed, as well as help me to stay flexible and with a strong core. As my yoga instructor liked to say, this wasn’t “nice yoga” this was “strong yoga!” And let me tell you, I loved every second of it! I tried one of the other yoga types, it was more of a relaxation yoga, and I kid you not, I nearly fell asleep in it. It was too slow for me, and clearly meditation was not my thing at the time. But sadly, after graduation, I stopped doing yoga, and now I am finally getting back into it. I have quite a ways to go, from where I started, but the benefits of yoga were just too much to pass up.
So here is a list of some of the benefits of yoga. Enjoy!
- Increased flexibility. Yeah, this one for sure. You stretch those muscles, and it feels amazing, especially after a tough workout, really helps to keep everything from stiffening and tightening up.
- Increased blood circulation. This one is great, especially since most of us sit at desks all day long during office hours. If you happen to have a standing desk (me too, go us!) then that’s awesome, but for those who don’t this definitely helps with circulation.
- Mental calmness. This is one of the main reasons I personally love yoga and am working on getting back into it multiple times a week. We hear about self-care, and yoga is a great way to sit back for 30-60 minutes, and just relax. You focus on breathing, and you focus on meditation and clearing your mind, and it’s a great stress reliever. So, if you’re giving your stress ball a good workout every single day, try picking up a yoga mat.
- Protection from injury. We all have heard time and time again that if you work on that flexibility, you will help to prevent muscle injuries. This is especially true if you play sports or have a hobby that keeps you physical. A little yoga never hurts.
- Increased muscle strength and tone. If you’ve never done yoga before, you may be scratching your head thinking that there’s no way this helps to tone muscles. Trust me, it does. Some of the yoga poses implement lunges, backbends, planks, etc. All of which help to tone your legs, core, arms. And the best part is, crunches are not involved.
- Lowers blood pressure. Going back to number 3, it helps to calm you down, and when you’re calm and relaxed, you’re not stressing over what Bob at the office did or Poppy next door. Which in turn, helps lower that blood pressure. Blood pressure is extremely important to cardiac health, so having a hobby that helps keep it lowered, is fantastic.
Whether you believe in the healing power of yoga or not, it never hurts to try something new. And with all the benefits of yoga, what do you have to lose? So many of us are always trying to improve our health, and I certainly don’t see how stretching has a downside. Plus, the music that is usually played is very soothing in itself.