What Can We Expect From Practicing Yoga?

Article by Stacy

As we are stepping into a high speed of life, more and more people start to try to find the best way of keeping themselves in health, keeping in shape, and getting out of stress and depress.

The outdoor activities are preferable by many people, but some of people think most outdoor practices are strenuous exercise, which makes some people think too much fierce. Then yoga may be a good choice.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years source from India. The word yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. It refers to the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. Nowadays, there are nearly 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits.

Yoga has been categorized into several classes by its poses, and some of the classes are designed purely for relaxation. Some can teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing the right classes will be great for your health and body flexibility and balance.

If you ever practice yoga, you will find that it is not only about the moves and poses that stretch our body, but have special requirements about breathing, and bring peace to us. So, what are the benefits of yoga practicing? Why people say yoga can improve our physical and psycho healthy?

Physical benefits

FlexibilityYoga poses contain some stretching exercises. Practicers can stretch like a gymnast, but it is much milder that no matter how old are you, you are never too old to improve flexibility through yoga.

The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles. Actually yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body.In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body.

And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gain s were i n shoulder and trunk flexibility.

StrengthPracticing some special styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, will help you improve muscle tone. But even less vigorous styles of yoga, such as Iyengar yoga, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits.

PostureMost standing and sitting poses develop core strength. That’s because you’re counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you’re more likely to sit and stand “tall.” Another benefit of yoga is the increased body awareness. This heightened awareness tells you more quickly when you’re slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.

BreathingBecause of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. This in turn can improve sports performance and endurance. But yoga typically isn’t focused on aerobic fitness the way running or cycling are. Taking an intense power yoga class that gets you breathing hard in a heated room, however, can provide an aerobic benefit.

Most forms of yoga emphasize deepening and lengthening your breath. This stimulates the relaxation response — the opposite of the fight-or-flight adrenaline boost of the stress response.

Heart benefitsPerhaps one of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga was a key component to the heart disease program designed by Dean Ornish, MD. This was the first program to partly reverse heart disease through lifestyle and diet rather than surgery. On a biochemical level, studies point to a possible anti-oxidant effect of yoga. And yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function.

Psycho benefits

Less stress, more calmEven beginners tend to feel le ss stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Some yoga styles use specific meditation techniques to quiet the constant “mind chatter” that often underlies stress. Other yoga styles depend on deep breathing techniques to focus your mind on the breath. When this happens, your mind becomes calm. Among yoga’s anti-stress benefits are a host of biochemical responses.

Concentration and moodHarder to pin down and research scientifically, concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits you’ll hear yoga students talk about. The same is true with mood. Nearly every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class. Recently, researchers have begun exploring the effects of yoga on depression, a benefit that may result from yoga’s boosting oxygen levels to the brain. Yoga is even being studied as an adjunct therapy to relieve symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Practicing yoga has other positive effects, such as helps us learning better, improves our level of memory, slows the aging process and increases a person’s sense of self-acceptance and so on.

But if you want to get what benefits exactly yoga will give us, we have to try it by yourself and see. Well, you won’t be disappointed.

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