Yoga is ideal for the young and the old, as the form of exercise helps to improve flexibility and bodily functions such as sleeping, cold and flu reduction, and a relaxed state-of-mind. Many yoga practitioners also believe that it increases the energy flow, or ‘prana’ in the body.
As such, yoga heals aches and pains, keeps illness at bay, and improves mental and physical health. Furthermore, it improves posture and prevents falls. If you’re new to yoga, don’t worry, there are beginner, intermediate and advanced moves to every posture.
Therefore, yoga suits anyone wishing to try it. The health benefits of yoga are many. Let’s look at these now.
Six Ways Yoga Improves Health
There are many studies that suggest yoga has more than 40 different health benefits. These focus on various areas of the body, and help in the prevention of disease and recovery from illness. Six of the most significant benefits of yoga are as follows:
- Increased Flexibility
Often restricted movement of the human body occurs because we sit at a desk or do other activities that don’t promote bending and stretching. Yoga works on gradually loosening muscles and ligaments so the body moves better. Gradually, over time any aches and pains you may have experienced will begin to disappear. Tight hamstrings that cause back pain lengthen, and connective tissue loosens to reduce a poor posture.
- Stronger Muscles
Toned and well-built muscle does far more than look good. Strong muscles protect our body from fatigue and prevent injury when we fall. Yoga increases muscle strength by using body weight to build muscle, and stretching to lengthen muscle, so it has a lean appearance.
- Corrects Posture
Poor posture is the cause of many neck and back aches, and it leads to muscle pain, and joint problems, especially as we age. However, yoga can reduce degeneration of muscles and joints, as it takes each part of the body through its full range of motion.
- Builds Better Bone Health
Weight bearing exercises strengthen bone structure and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Yoga uses many poses and postures that use your body weight as resistance. For instance, the Upward and Downward Dog increase arm and bone strength.
- Greater Spinal Protection
Yoga increases balance, with your core and other muscles used throughout a workout. These muscles also support your spine. Therefore, practising yoga helps to build the muscles supporting the spine, and it keeps the joints in the spine supple with plenty of bends.
- Increased Blood Flow
While yoga is not a strenuous cardiovascular workout, it still increases the flow of blood in your body. Certain yoga moves also stimulates circulation to your extremities hands and feet. Haemoglobin levels are raised by red blood cells, and cells transport more oxygen.