The Gateway to Health & Wellbeing 
Are you considering trying Yoga? Here are 10 reasons why you should… 
1. Yoga improves your flexibility. 
As a Yoga instructor I often hear people say “I can’t do Yoga because I’m not flexible.” I am afraid that is the whole point of coming to a Yoga class! At first you maybe unable to touch your toes and you will notice tension in the body you thought you never had but week on week you will improve as the muscles become longer and the tension you were holding begins to disappear.  
Your body has multiple muscle connections and an area of tightness in one place can have an effect in another area for example, tight hamstrings cause lower back ache. Tension in the hip often spreads down into the thigh and knee area and if left too long can even cause pain in the lower leg and foot. Yoga has the ability to ease these aches and pains with its beautiful deep stretches combined with the power of the breath. 
2. Yoga makes you feel happier. 
It may sound silly but Yoga actually does make you feel great! Taking time out for you is a part of your self care. The poses and breath help to release the stresses of the day. Studies have found that Yoga increases serotonin levels and reduces depression. 
3. Yoga may lead you to live a healthier lifestyle. 
Regular Yoga practice will get your body moving and burn calories and As the Yoga brings to you a deeper understanding of yourself and your body, you may become more aware of the type of food you feed your body with, you may become what is known as a conscious eater. 
4. Yoga teaches you to focus
The Yoga poses (asanas) and the breath require you to focus on yourself in the here and now. With regular practice you will be able to totally clear your mind of all your thoughts, and cares. Personally I’ve always seen the practice of Yoga as a type of meditation developing calmness peace and tranquility. 
5. Yoga teaches you to relax. 
Yoga encourages the individual to relax. During the poses by connecting to the breath the body relaxes and the breath and heart rate will slow down. This is what is known as the parasympathetic nervous system. In time you will find yourself applying the breath to everyday situations so as to remain calm when you may have otherwise become stressed. 
6. Yoga improves your balance. 
Learning to balance not only strengthens the legs, feet and ankles, making falls less likely but it also increases proprioception into the brain. Proprioception is the awareness of your body’s position and movement in space.  
Greater knowledge of your body’s alignment and function through balance and the Yoga poses will have an improvement on posture and better posture will lead to less aches and pains. 
7. Yoga releases tension. 
Have you ever noticed yourself gritting your teeth, tensing the leg or bottom muscles in your day to day activities, driving etc? It’s normal! This is known as chronic tension, we hold our bodies unconsciously in tension, which eventually leads to physical discomfort. When you begin to practice Yoga you’ll notice the tension and be able to pinpoint the source and with practice and focus you’ll be able to let go of that tension and really bring about a change your anatomical alignment, which will have an impact on your wellbeing. How you hold yourself without tension will also have an impact on your flexibility. 
8. Yoga improves your lung function. 
Shallow breathing can increase anxiety and heart rate, reverse breathing maybe a sign of stress, but don’t worry about this! With the breathing techniques (pranayama) in Yoga and time it corrects. Yoga will teach you to take whole breaths, from the base of the lung to the top. In Yoga you will breath through the nose which filters out pollution, so it’s better for the lungs. Yoga will bring your attention to the breath, teach you to correct any incorrect breathing patterns. Breathing correctly will increase blood flow, lung capacity, function and it’s also very calming. 
9. Yoga eases pain. 
Through the regular practice of Yoga those who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and in some cases fibromyalgia to name a few, often notice a reduction in pain and a greater sense of well being. 
10. Yoga develops a connection to the self and others. 
Even if you only practice once a week you’ll notice changes in yourself, be they very subtle, such as a sense of calm for longer periods of time. These subtle changes will have a positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. You will maybe notice you have more compassion for yourself and others and don’t respond to situations in the heat of the moment, but can actually step back. Everyday problems may not seem so daunting! 
Tagged as: Benefits of Yoga
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