Healthy mind healthy body right? Yoga is the perfect combination of both working in tandem to change not only your body’s shape, but your outward perceptions and overall way of life. People have been cognizant of the life changing reasons adding yoga has on our wellbeing for years. Over 20 million adults practicing according to a Yoga Journal study.
While 20 million is an impressive figure, it accounts for only 6% of the adult population of the United States according to your tax dollars over there at the Census Bureau. So why so low?
Well this is my effort to enlighten those who are afraid to break from their shells and adopt yoga not just from a physical standpoint, but for the gravely underrated mental benefits. Submitted for the approval of the millennial society, I call this article, 12 Life Changing Reasons to Add Yoga to Your Daily Routine.
1] Builds Strength
We have been trained to think of strength as a weight lifting attribute requiring countless hours in the gym. However, yoga does more for both your muscles and functional strength than you would expect. During yoga, our muscles are engaged in isometric fashion through long posture holds. This allows for your mind to become more in tune with each individual fiber.
The most notable truth about building strength through yoga is that many yoga flows (vinyasas) are full body focused, targeting each muscles group in a less strenuous manner than weightlifting.
2] Increases Metabolism
Obviously physical activity is a precursor to revving up the metabolic engine. Using yoga as the physical activity has its own anatomic reasons for firing our fat burning engine into overdrive. Remember that most of the digestive track is located in your core area.
Utilizing poses that target your core will massage your endocrine and abdominal organs causing them to work more efficiently. Check out this list of 16 poses that will boost your metabolism,
Lastly, with fat burning comes the definition of your muscles. While you will not gain sizeable mass from yoga alone, by nature of yoga’s posture holds using eccentric contractions, your muscles will grow in longer and leaner rather than bulky and rounded.
Want to learn a little bit more about how yoga can melt the fat away? Check out this short video from Brilliant Yoga
3] Increases Balance and Focus
Balance is the mind’s recognition of the bodies physical alignment to the ground. Yoga increases your minds awareness of the body and how it responds to suspension and movement.
As the muscle fibers twitch between slow transitions of movement to pose, they increase in strength. After consistent practice we develop a muscle memory that the mind commits to seamlessly work in unison with your remaining body. This mind body connection grants us a solid foundation of balance.
Lastly, in tandem with balance comes a clear focus. The meditative state and calming nature allow the mind to clear its thoughts through patiently deep repetitive breaths. Anyone who has ever finished a deep meditative moment can attest to the clarity and control you gain over your thoughts.
Check out Tara Stiles YouTube for a great beginner balance flow.
4] Improves Memory
Stress on the brain hinders the growth of the neurons which help us retain memories. Improve Memory says that high levels of stress will cause degeneration in the memory levels themselves.
According to Daily Mail, researches have found that a 20 minute session of Hatha yoga dramatically improved a person’s accuracy when tested on their memory and focus. Having troubles with memory, check out which poses will help.
5] Increases Circulation
Decreased circulation leads to memory loss, headaches, hair loss, lack of energy, shortness of breath and so many other ailments. According to the Washington Post, through out the course of a week, the average office worker sits for about 10 hours on average per day.
Add a change to your routine when you return home from a stressful day and try these 5 Yoga Poses to Increase Circulation. Not only will they improve your immunities and circulate blood more efficiently to your brain, which is lacking as majority of blood is below the heart thanks to gravity, but the deep inhalations will also expand your lungs causing more oxygen to return back to your brain and heart.
For deeper stretches and increased circulation, check out Reehut Fitness Exercise Yoga StrapsEdit. These straps will allow you more leverage to hold harder stretches with less effort until your more comfortable in your poses.
6] Increased Energy
With every deep pose, both the stretching of your muscles and massaging of your organs, causes the build up of toxins to pass through the body. As a majority of our energy is derived from our digestive tract, a toxic environment would cause for a slowdown in bodily function.
Removing the wasteful buildup will rejuvenate your entire system giving you that much needed boost of energy. Remember to breath deep and for extended periods of time as increased oxygen levels are known to increase energy. Go and check out these 5 Poses to Boost Your Energy
7] Improves Flexibility and Bone Health
Automatically people think that its only because of stretching that our bodies become more flexible when practicing yoga. Granted, they wouldn’t be wrong. The long sustained poses stretch not only the muscles releasing the buildup of lactic acid, but the limbs as well. In doing so it releases the pressure on both our joints and ligaments.
The unknown added aspect of increased flexibility is that after consistent training and mind body awareness, a sense of peace and balance between each muscle group will begin to work in tandem instead of against themselves. Learn more about yoga and flexibility!
8] Improves Posture and Strengthens Core
Can we just agree that when we see others walk around erect with great posture, they inherently look slimmer, taller, and most noticeably, more confident?
I’ve hammered this point of body awareness as deep as the nail would reach with good reason. Proper posture starts with one being consciously aware of their body and actively keeping it in line. Having a loose, lengthened spinal column, strong back muscles and solid core strength will assist us.
Check out this LuxFit Premium Fitness Exercise Ball Chair for your home or office. Developed by health experts for better spine and back health, it boasts an overall 4.5 Star Amazon rating!
9] Improves Sleep
The PNS – which is one half of the automatic nervous system, the other being the sympathetic nervous system – commands both our sleep and digestive functions. The PNS tends to decrease heart rate and lower blood pressure, therefore helping our bodies to fall into sleep patterns.
Many yoga positions such as supine spinal pose or child’s pose, in tandem with relaxed, slow breathing and meditation can stimulate the PNS assisting in deeper mental relaxation. If you are having trouble sleeping, check out this 5 star rated Yoga Nidra for Sleep session. Let us know in the comments if you were able to outlast the session without sleeping.
10] Increases Self Esteem
Yoga helps foster a greater link between a peaceful mind and a physically fit body which does wonders in building self confidence and self esteem. As previously noted, our body language is stronger and more positive, emanating out as a public display of good vibes.
When your mind is at peace there are less worries to bog you down and create deterrents from living a meaningful life. A focused mind is able to see all the positives in each and every moment or situation. If you have read any of my self-improvement articles you understand the power of positivity.
11] Better Sex Drive
The title should speak for itself. Yoga not only increases stamina due to increased levels of oxygen and better circulation, it increases flexibility, and the reason as to why that’s important to your sex life should be rhetorical.
Men should also note that the increased focus and mental clarity learned through yoga practice can be essential for us to not “jump the gun” giving a more pleasurable experience for both men and women.
12] Reduces Stress and Anxiety
We know by now that yoga relaxes both body and mind to create peaceful tranquility. This state of mind is an integral part of reducing both stress and anxiety. Hatha is a great form of yoga for those looking to reduce stress.
Hatha emphasizes focus exercises to recuse the mind from external objects and thoughts through deep meditations. An article posted by the Mayo Clinic even acknowledges that a number of studies have shown yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety.
Emotions play a huge roll in anxiety disorders. Yet, mindful slow dedication to perfecting postures with attention to deep breathing allows us to cast our emotions aside. As anxiety drops with increased oxygen through breathing our heart rates begin to decrease further alleviating the anxiety. Suffering from serious anxiety and would like to know more? Check out YOGA Basics.
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Make sure to check out the BeachBody 21 Day Yoga Retreat to get you started on your journey of enlightenment, and order yourself a Complete Yoga Kit for Beginers with carrying straps for ease of portability to all those classes you are going to want to join.
Thank you for hanging around long enough to reach the end. Now you are aware of the life changing reasons adding yoga has on our being. I hope you put trust in the benefits of yoga practice. Please comment below how yoga has changed your life and make sure to share with your friends!