Yoga is one of the best exercises because it benefits both the mind and the body. While yoga may look easy to some, it is truly a test of strength, control and balance. It brings together breathing exercises, meditation and poses which help to increase flexibility and reduce stress. Yoga is much more difficult than it looks, and it can take a lifetime to master. Fortunately, regardless of what level yogi you are, practicing yoga regularly can have amazing restorative effects on the mind and body. Below are just a few of the restorative effects of yoga.
- Stress Reducer
Stress is one of the leading causes of disease that exists. Stress not only increases a person’s perception to pain, but it also can lead to mental health problems, heart problems, and overall diminished quality of life. Fortunately, one of yoga’s restorative properties is that it helps people to fight stress. Multiple studies have shown that yoga can help to decrease the secretion of cortisol, which is a hormone directly related to stress. Whether you are juggling work, family, friends, philanthropy, travel, or all the above, there is no doubt stress is more abundant today than ever before. Yoga is a powerful tool to help keep daily stress in check.
- Anxiety Relief
The number of people being diagnosed with anxiety are at an all time high. Oftentimes, anxiety is tied very closely to stress. Whether you are suffering from generalized anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety can take hold of a change a person’s life in a very negative way. However, those who practice yoga regularly, experience relief from anxiety symptoms without the use of prescription medication. This is extremely beneficial to those who do not tolerate medications well, or for those who prefer to avoid medication.
- Decrease Inflammation
Inflammation is a major cause of pain in the human body. While inflammation is a normal response to an injury in the body, chronic inflammation can lead to other ailments like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Chronic inflammation is also common in people suffering from autoimmune disorders. In many cases, people feel they either have to resort to prescription steroids to reduce inflammation, or simply live with the pain. Neither is an ideal long term treatment to chronic inflammation. Fortunately, yoga has been shown to decrease inflammation among those who practice regularly.
- Improving Overall Quality of Life
Quality of life is one of the best measurements of overall happiness. Living a long life is not enough. People should strive to live long healthy lives that are also full of happiness. Quality of life means you are not just living, but truly thriving in life. Various surveys and studies have shown that those who practice yoga have an improved overall quality of life. This is likely due to the fact that it is positive for both mental and physical health. Yoga can help to improve sleep, improve spiritual wellness, make people feel invigorated, and help with relaxation and stress management, all of which contribute to overall quality of life.
- Pain Relief
There are many people around the world who suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain not only affects a person physically, but it can also affect a person’s mental wellbeing and their social life. If you are constantly in pain, you are more likely to suffer from depression, and less likely to have an active social life. In addition, chronic pain can prevent people from sleeping well and exercising regularly which can lead to other health problems. Fortunately, yoga is restorative to the body and can greatly help with pain relief and increase movement in those suffering from various forms of arthritis.
- Improved Sleep Quality
Sleep is one of the most restorative actions your body can take. Our bodies go through wear and tear throughout the day. When we sleep, our bodies are finally given a chance to repair themselves. However, most Americans do not get an adequate amount of sleep each night. As a result, those who are sleep deprived also suffer from a higher incidence of health problems than those who do get adequate sleep. People suffer from bad sleep for a variety of reason whether that be stress, restlessness, or simply having a mind that won’t stop running. Yoga is an excellent way to calm the mind and decrease stress to ensure you have the best quality sleep possible.
- Improved Flexibility and Balance
Many people hear “flexibility” and “balance” and think of professional athletes and ballerinas. However, flexibility and balance is important for all people, regardless of age. As people get older, their flexibility tends to get worse, as does their balance. Yoga is an excellent exercise to help improve both flexibility and balance. Practicing yoga just 15-30 minutes a day can significantly improve performance in one’s flexibility and balance. This can lead to overall improved health later in life.
- Increase Strength
While weighted exercises are a common way to increase one’s strength, body weight exercises are another way to increase your overall strength. Body weight exercises are much more difficult than they appear. There are specific exercises and positions in yoga that are designed to increase weight and build up muscle. However, instead of becoming bulky, the muscle builds up in a lean way. These movements can help to build upper body strength, endurance, and help maintain a healthy body weight. Maintaining strong muscles as your age is key to living a long and healthy life.
- Decrease Depression
Over 6% of the population in the United States suffers from depression. Unfortunately, many people live with this ailment or spend years trying to find the right medications to help them feel better. Fortunately, yoga has been shown to help many people suffering from depression. This may be because yoga helps to reduce cortisol levels, which can interfere with serotonin, thus leading to depression. Yoga is an excellent way to exercise mindfulness and help combat depression for those prefer a natural treatment.