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Physical And Mental Benefits Of Yoga

May 7, 2008
Yoga is known for being one of the most beneficial exercises in the world, and also incredibly fun and enjoyable as it can be practiced by people of all walk of life and ages. Maybe you have even tried yoga and discovered that it makes you a different and better person. But what are the types of health benefits can you expect to enjoy from doing yoga regularly?

It is very important to know all the benefits of yoga before you start practicing it, so that you will understand that much more just how respected and positive an exercise form it really is.

There are so many different benefits that are offered from the exercise of yoga, and while each different form of yoga does offer its own separate benefits and results, there are some fundamental benefits that you will receive, regardless of which specific form of yoga you practice.

Physical Benefits

Flexibility: Yoga is very effective in increasing flexibility, as it has positions that act upon the various joints of the body, even including those which are never really worked out with other exercises. Stretching your tight body in new ways will encourage it to become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints. You can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips over time

Strength: Many yoga poses need you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg (such as in Tree Pose) or supporting yourself with your arms (such as in Downward Facing Dog).Some exercises will need you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

Muscle tone: As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see Your muscles get incredibly toned and fit. Especially muscles that have become flaccid or weak, are stimulated repeatedly in order to help you shed flab and flaccidity. Therefore, Yoga helps toned and shaped long, lean muscles.

Pain and Disease Prevention: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who experienced back pain spend a major portion of their time sitting in front computer or driving a car. That can cause muscle tightness and spinal compression, which you can address these with yoga. It works to massage all of the organs in your body, and it is said as being perhaps the only activity that is able to massage all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough way. Yoga also improves your alignment, both in and out of classrooms, which helps prevent many other types of pain.

It is able to act in a wholesome manner on the various body parts, and this stimulation results in keeping disease away and alerting the body earlier when there is something wrong.

Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and take breathing for granted and without much thought. Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, direct the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help unblock the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.

Total body detoxification: By gently exercising and stretching the muscles and joints through yoga, your body's blood supply starts working better and quicker, and this aids in the flushing out of toxins as well as providing nourishment up to the last point.

Mental Benefits

Mental Calmness: Yoga asana practice is very physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing, has the effect of calming the mind. Yoga also brings along meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind. It is also actually one of its main purposes.

Stress Reduction: Physical activity is good for destress, and this is particularly true of yoga. Because of the concentration need, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors and helping put things into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment, can also aid in relieving stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will leave a yoga class with lesser stressed than when you started.

Body Awareness: Practising yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are usually called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. This will increase your level of comfort in your own body over time, thus leading to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit I Learn Yoga Online to learn more about yoga for weight loss and other easy yoga.
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