Chances are when you hear the word “Yoga”, your initial thought is either one of two things: “I freaking love yoga!” or “ugh…what’s the point?”
Am I right? Did you think one of those two things?
If your thoughts were more toward that of the latter, that’s ok… I still love you and you’re not alone!
However, truth be told, the practice of yoga brings about many physical and emotional benefits that the majority of us are unaware of, and TAADAAA, I’m here to help simplify those.
Not only because I freaking LOVE yoga and the huge impact it’s made and continues to make in my life, but more importantly because it aims to greatly reduce one of our most common ailments today… the big “S!”
Let’s face it: we live in a “go, go, GO”, “everything needs to happen this instant”, “you’re a bad a$$ if you are juggling a million things at once” society, where, especially as women, saying the phrase, “It’s ok, I’m just stressed” has become far too commonplace.
But here’s the thing, it’s not “ok” and it’s not “just” stress.
Our bodies aren’t designed to sustain prolonged stress, and when they do, they begin to break down, allowing disease to creep in.
There’s far too much lifestyle related (STRESS; physical, chemical and emotional) sickness and disease in our modern society and guess what?
Yep, ding ding ding… yoga works to combat this STRESS head on, while also rejuvenating our quality of life.
Have you ever thought, ” yoga seems a little to hippy and “fufu” for me?”
It’s all good if you have, but here’s the thing… yoga is scientifically based, and it seeks to understand how our bodies act and react to changes in our internal physical environment.
So, why should I bother practicing yoga and what benefits can I expect?
Here’s the Mayo Clinic’s take on the benefits of practicing yoga and meditation:
“Meditation is used by people who are perfectly healthy as a means of stress reduction. But if you have a medical condition that’s worsened by stress (***honestly what isn’t?!), you might find the practice valuable in reducing the stress-related effects of allergies, asthma, chronic pain and arthritis, among others.”
Our Mind-Body Connection
Yoga is centered on our mind-body connection. This mind-body harmony is achieved through three things:
- postures (asanas)
- proper breathing (pranayama)
Mind and body draw inspiration and guidance from the combined practices of asanas, breathing, and meditation. As we age, our bodies become susceptible to toxins and diseases (caused by lifestyle, environmental and poor dietary factors).
Yoga helps our bodies to cleanse, detox and function optimally, while decreasing stress and promoting longevity, making it a great practice for wholistic wellness.
- Restored equilibrium (balance) to our body’s central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
- Decreased and balanced pulse
- Improved respiratory and blood pressure rates
- Increased cardiovascular efficiency
- Improved gastrointestinal system function
- Increased breath-holding time
- Improved dexterity skills
- Improved balance
- Improved depth perception
- Improved memory
Yoga also delivers numerous psychological benefits, so this is a very common reason why people begin practicing it in the first place.
The most frequently mentioned psychological benefit of yoga is an improved ability to manage stress. Yoga diminishes our levels of anxiety, depression, and lethargy and enables us to achieve greater balance, happiness and flexibility.
The benefits of yoga go far beyond simple meditation and stretching; it’s a way to release toxins and stress that promotes a more healthy and happy life. Isn’t that something we’re all looking for?