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The Health Benefits of a Daily Yoga Practice

When it comes to yoga, the health benefits of the practice has been marvelled at for many centuries. The moving meditation which finds its roots in India some 5,000 years prior is now practised by people everywhere in the world. It has made its name one of the most popular exercises in the world. Over the years, it has become more of a lifestyle choice helping one stay fit, both physically and mentally. The meditative effects of yoga are known to be therapeutic for many and help with factors such as stress and anxiety. Recommended by many health practitioners, Yoga is practised in various forms from Ashtanga to Kripalu. We will be looking further in-depth into the health benefits of a daily yoga practice. 

 

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Benefits to Your Immune System

 

If you have come to realise that you are one of those people who often catch seasonal flu or are more susceptible to catching colds and viruses. Regardless of how well you have been eating healthy, you have come to realise that you are more prone to falling ill. If this is the case you find yourself in, then adding yoga to your daily routine could have marvellous health benefits to your immune system. Many certified yoga teachers and nutritionists recommend making the change to add yoga into your daily routine.
 
 
 
The art of yoga has all the elements required to get a deep movement focus on your parasympathetic nervous system at the same time focusing less on the sympathetic nervous system.  The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for adrenaline secretion, which is known as the flight or fight hormone. An overactive sympathetic nervous system is usually caused by stress. Yoga helps you relieve stress and the acts of bending and stretching greatly help your body relax to the most optimum levels. The problem with stress is, it has a rather negative effect on the immune system. As studies have shown, if you are stressed, the tendency to fall ill is significantly increased. So when it comes to yoga, it is a great lifestyle addition to your daily routine which enables you to better manage your stress and keep yourself calm and focused throughout the day. This will resultantly enable you to develop a much stronger immune system, which will prevent you from falling ill.   

 

An overactive sympathetic nervous system is also linked to increased inflammation. The effects of reducing inflammation have huge health benefits for it helps you protect yourself against chronic illnesses like diabetes. If you practice yoga on a daily basis, the inflammation factor is greatly reduced, which further boosts your immune system. If you are in the early stages of diabetes or some other chronic condition, it is advised to consider doing yoga on a daily basis. The health benefits of daily yoga on your immune system will not only be noticeable but life-changing. 

 

 

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Better Focus and Improved Attention Span

In this day and age, with people often juggling everything as they do, it becomes difficult to focus on one simple task, be it with family, work or school. Either way, gaining the ability to focus on the task at hand and improving your attention span can have overall positive effects on your overall wellbeing. You would find yourself more efficient and capable of handling even the hardest of tasks with ease. If you find that when it comes to certain things, your focus and attention is wary, then yoga is a good recommendation to follow and incorporate into your daily routine. 

 

Yoga helps you find your centre, which enables you to get better with the tasks at hand. Since the practice of daily yoga requires an element of devotion, it is more likely that over time you will develop better focus and an improved attention span. You will notice that you would be able to read for a longer period of time and don’t require breaks as frequently as you used to. It is the devotion and the continued practice of yoga that enables you to train yourself to achieve high levels of focus and similar devotion in other tangents of life, be it work, study or family. 

 

Further to the fact that your focus is bettered, you will also come to realise that you are more thoughtful and strong-minded. It truly helps you get a deeper insight into life and helps you become more appreciative of life in general. It has been proven to show that the daily practice of yoga has enormous health benefits when it comes to your emotional health.

 

The Strength Factor

It is always great to look good. When you look good, you feel good. This is what most people say about the way they feel about themselves. Yoga can be a great addition to your daily life if you are simply in search of the means to look better. The movements involved in yoga are known for their ability to better tone muscles. When you look at people who do yoga on a frequent basis, you notice a striking similarity between most of them. They all have well defined and toned bodies; abs are a common sight with yoga practitioners. This also accompanies a slim exterior. The reason why yoga practitioners all have similar bodies is simple, they all perform similar routines on a daily basis. The stretching and bending involved in the art of yoga help you strengthen all your major muscle groups. Certain poses in yoga are hard to do and require a whole lot of practice and dedication. However, if are consistent with the practice, then the results will show. The coordination and power involved in balancing your body in certain positions help strengthen and tone muscles in your arms, legs, abdomen and back.  

 

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Yoga is great for people who are unable to lift heavy weights or have recently suffered from an accident that has limited high impact movement. It is simply a great way to get in shape without the need for heavy weights and gym time. If due to some reason, you have trouble with your joints or suffer from pain in general, then yoga can greatly help you ease this pain, at the same time tone your body; keeping you fit and looking great in the process. 

 

If it is strength you are after, there are some forms of yoga that are better suited to your end goal. Power yoga, also known as Ashtanga, is a great form of yoga to practice if you are looking to increase strength.

 

Yoga and Mental Wellbeing

Mental health and mental illnesses are becoming more of a common phenomenon amongst adults. With a significant segment of the population battling anxiety or some other form of mental illness; people tend to find it difficult to fall asleep at night. (For the importance of sleep and how to get better sleep, follow the link.)

 

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One of the best ways to combat mental illness and improve your overall mental wellbeing is by adding yoga into your daily routine. If you suffer from anxiety, the calming effects of yoga could have great health benefits which would bravely improve your quality of life. Yoga helps to find your centre and enables you to be mindful of the present situation as opposed to thinking about the future. Often times, it is the ideas of the future which causes anxiety and panic attacks. Learning to stay focused and centred at the given moment will greatly help relieve anxiety and stress. 

 

Yoga involves controlled breathing exercises which help you refine your thoughts. The movements that accompany the breathing exercises help keep your thoughts in check and helps you stay well-grounded on reality. 

 

Yoga involves the gentle practice of calming the mind and relaxing the body, which can come with great benefits for those who suffer from depression and bipolar disorders. Either way, if it is stress, anxiety, depression or something more serious that has a negative effect on your health, you will notice enormous health benefits of daily yoga practice.

 

Weight Loss and Yoga

Is it really possible to lose weight by doing yoga? Let me ask you a question that you should know the answer to by now. Why do almost all yoga practitioners look slim? It all boils down to the fact that yoga helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight. 

 

 

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Yoga can be a great tool in your weight loss programme. If you really enjoy yoga, you could see yourself getting good results over time. It is not unheard of to work up a sweat during yoga. Yoga as mentioned prior helps stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system which helps you shed extra weight. Further to this, yoga also works to reduce cortisol levels in your blood, which can too help you in your weight loss journey.

 

Stress has been identified as the number one reason for weight gain. Yoga provides you with the tools and resources to beat stress, which has marvellous benefits to your overall health. Lowered amounts of stress greatly reduce your chances of gaining weight. Over time, with the ample exercise you are getting from a daily yoga practice, your extra pounds will melt away. 

 

Yoga and your heart

Heart conditions are one of the leading causes of death as per the World Health Organisation. So if you are worried about the wellbeing of your cardiovascular system, then now would be a good time to incorporate yoga into your daily routine. 

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Yoga helps reduce blood pressure, which is a leading cause of heart disease and bad cardiovascular health. Gentle yoga helps ease the pressure on your arteries which is why it helps resolve your blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that people who suffered from high blood pressure managed to bring their blood pressure levels back to normal, by incorporating a daily yoga practice. 

 

More Energy, Yes, Please

When it comes to our daily routine, most of us find ourselves in a daily tug and pull between family commitments, work and school. This makes it very difficult for some people to maintain the same levels of energy throughout the day. You could often find yourself drained with the inability to perform daily tasks.

 

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If you add yoga to your daily routine, you will soon realise that you have sustained energy throughout the day and are suddenly able to do a whole lot more with your time. 

 

Yoga helps you increase your energy levels, and the more energy you have throughout the day, the more you can get done. Yoga has an overall better tangent to sleep and overall wellbeing. You will realise that due to higher energy levels, you are able to perform your daily tasks with greater ease, leaving you with an emotionally optimised self. 

 

Happiness, Endorphins and Yoga

Endorphins are the chemicals in your body responsible for happiness. The more endorphins you have, the happier you will feel. Exercise in general is known to increase endorphin levels in your blood, which brightens your mood and your day. 

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As mentioned all over this article, adding yoga as a daily practice provides your body with ample exercise, which resultantly releases plenty of endorphins, leaving you feeling happy and blissful. Yoga is a great way to increase your daily endorphin levels naturally; happiness really is the best health benefit there is to adding a daily yoga practice. 

 

Bone Health

With the increased number of postures that you undertake in yoga, your bone health will too improve. The phenomenon of bone loss is the sole reason for joint pain and bad posture. Yoga helps prevent bone loss, which studies have proven to show provide for a stronger skeletal system. 

 

Your spine, hips and joints will all have improved bone density, which can prevent the onset of diseases like arthritis. Studies have shown that yoga practitioners had improved bone quality, which benefits the self with time as you age. The fact that with yoga, you are often working against gravity, makes for stronger bones caused by a healthy amount of tension. Yoga can be a great tool to combat osteoporosis, and prevent it from developing.

 

Balance and Posture

When people consider yoga for the first time, many of them tend to shy away from the practice due to the fact that most people tend to have trouble balancing themselves in the yoga poses. That being the case, to start practising the art of yoga, you do not require to have great balance. Good balance is developed over time and is something of a reward for the devotion to the art. Yoga helps you strengthen your lower body, which enables you to develop a better sense of balance over time. A good sense of balance is very important for your body as you age, for it prevents you from falling which can be serious for older people. 

 

 

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Another thing that is important as you age is maintaining good posture. The better posture you maintain, the more likely that you will sidestep all the aches and pain that usually come with age. Hence good posture is one of the key health benefits of daily yoga practice. Good posture will prevent bone damage, which can prevent further joint problems such as arthritis. The stretching and the muscle training involved with the practice of yoga can help you improve your posture to prevent the negative effects of bad posture as previously mentioned.
 
 

 

Better Sleep

Making sure you get ample sleep and rest is probably one of the most important things to your overall wellbeing. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia and often don’t know what to try to sleep better. Poor sleep is often attributed to another hidden health condition such as poor cardiovascular health. Hence, bad sleep is simply not something that should be ignored.

 

If you are one of those people who suffer from insomnia, you will come to realise the tremendous health benefits a daily practice of yoga has. Yoga experts often highlight yoga’s ability to restore the natural circadian rhythm, which will help your body adjust to your body’s natural balance. The art of yoga helps you improve your overall mental wellbeing, which as a result makes for better sleep. The better your quality of sleep, the better your overall health will become. 

 

Pain Management

If you recently suffered from an accident or in general suffer from joint pains, you are naturally on the search for some means to manage your pain better. Pain is usually accompanied and caused by bad posture. Due to our muscles and ligaments being held in bad posture, pain can become the resultant effect of it all. 

 

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Yoga helps you stretch your muscles and ligaments, which enables them to become more flexible with time. This increases the levels of muscle relaxation, enabling you to soothe the pain experienced. Gentle stretching as with most yoga poses is exactly what health practitioners recommend as the best way to manage pain better. If you suffer from arthritis, then yoga can be of tremendous help in managing your pain better and increasing your overall quality of life. 

 

 

 

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Increased Flexibility

You may have seen people doing yoga. They stretch their bodies to the limits and hold poses that you think are bizarre or rather impossible for yourself. Don’t let this stop you from trying your hand at yoga. The biggest misconception out there is that you need to be flexible to do yoga. As with balance, flexibility is a reward of daily yoga practice, something that will better with more and more practice.  

 

The less flexible you are, the greater the need for you to do yoga on a daily basis. Yoga helps you stretch and build muscles, which resultantly makes you stronger and more flexible over time. The longer you practice the art of yoga, the more flexible you will become. The plus point to better flexibility is that, as you age, you will be less likely to injure yourself from a fall and would be something you cherish about yourself in the long run. 

 

Doing Yoga at Home

After reading this word to word, if you find yourself with the sudden urge to start doing yoga, we recommend that you don’t waste time and start planning out a course of action to make it happen. There are obvious to state various health benefits of daily yoga practice, and you can only get better with time. 

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If joining a yoga studio is not possible for you, for whatever reason, you can start yourself off by doing yoga at home. Simply do some of the research that you need to do. Youtube is a great source for beginner tutorials and videos for yoga newbies. Get yourself a mat and start stretching your body. Try some of the easier postures at first and slowly move your way to harder poses with practice and time. Ensure to perfect your posture with every pose. Perfecting posture occurs over time, and it is something that is key to developing a good yoga practice. 

 

Grab a mat, and find a comfortable place in your house away from distractions; a quiet place is preferable. You may choose to play some relaxing music in the background to help you find your centre and stay relaxed. Do some research on the different types of yoga and go with the poses which work best for you. If you have trouble with posture and balance, don’t worry, these elements will get better with time. 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading this word to word and have found it helpful. We hope that you have come to realise the enormous health benefits of daily yoga practice, and have made the decision to devote yourself to the practice and art. 

 

Happy Stretching!

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