Yoga is extremely popular, but what exactly are its health benefits? Not only are they physical, but they can also be mental.
Yoga is relaxing. The slow pace and deep breathing involved loosens muscles and puts the mind in a calm state. More blood, and therefore oxygen, is circulated to neglected areas, invigorating the body. Exercise also produces endorphins, hormones that make you in a better mood.
It is a workout for your muscles. It doesn’t seem like it, but yoga is harder than it looks. Poses are commonly held for long stretches of time. This requires muscle endurance and strength. Yoga also involves the whole body, so the entire body is getting toned.
Yoga demands flexibility. Many athletes forget about including flexibility in their workout, and therefore complain of cramping muscles and stiff joints. Flexibility is necessary for the body to retain its full range of motion. Better flexibility leads to better posture also. In addition, studies have shown that inflexible muscles create inflexible blood vessels. Hardened blood vessels increase the risk of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fat and consequential clogging of arteries. By being flexible, less injuries will occur.
Yoga is more than it seems. Not only does it improve your physical health and prevent injuries, but also benefits your mind. Sign up for a class or buy a yoga DVD to follow along at home.