Yoga is a powerful yet accessible practice that helps you enhance your quality of life, and also comes with a host of health benefits like reduced inflammation, better pain and stress management, healthy immune function and improved heart health. And given our high stress and fast paced lifestyles, Yoga is the perfect antidote we need to support and nourish our physical as well as mental health, says Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder- Yoganama .
Here are six scientifically proven benefits of Yoga which make for six very good reasons why you should incorporate yoga into your daily routine.
- Helps you relax
Yoga is an excellent practice for relieving stress. The gentle stretches help release stored up tension and stiffness from the body. This eventually helps calm down the mind. When followed by Pranayama and Meditation even for 10-15 mins you get a further reset to your nervous system and can enjoy a sustained sense of overall wellbeing and calmness.
- Helps with pain management
Did you know that meditation can help increase your tolerance to pain even if you’ve never meditated before? Chronic pain can be debilitating and often has strong links to stress. For instance, a common problem lower back pain could be because of various reasons including high levels of stress or low job satisfaction. Which is why for many people various therapies don’t seem to work, but when they come to a wholesome yoga practice, they find tremendous relief. For this reason, many clinicians often recommend Yoga as the first line of treatment for non-specific lower back pain.
- Better mood and energy levels
Most yoga practitioners report better quality of life and develop a positive body image as well. People also report getting fewer negative feelings and have higher energy levels after Yoga. It is also highly beneficial for those suffering from chronic fatigue or recovering form viral infections.
- Mindful eating
Traditionally Yoga is not a very intense or high impact activity, yet it helps with weight loss and is used in obesity management programs. And that’s interesting because Yoga may not burn as many calories as a run in the park, but it still gives promising weight loss results. This is because yoga makes us mindful eaters. We become more self-aware and in touch with our feelings as well as bodily sensations. This prevents us from mindless eating or even over eating. People who start practicing yoga observe a natural shift in their eating patterns which continues to improve with practice.
- Cardiovascular benefits
One of the most powerful impact of Yoga is on our heart as it is very effective in reducing blood pressure. Regular practice has also shown positive impact on reducing excess blood sugar. It also slows down our heart rate due to its calming effect
- Improves brain function
Not only does yoga help with anxiety and depression, it also favourably rewires our brain and enhances our cognitive functions. It makes us more rational, and less prone to knee jerk reactions or emotional outbursts. Our concentration and alertness levels improve and therefore so does our productivity.
The best part is, in order to get all these benefits of Yoga, you don’t need a very complicated practice. All you need to ensure is that you incorporate all three pillars of Yoga – Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. Few gentle stretches for 10-15 mins followed by 10-15 mins of Breathing exercises and meditation is a great place to start.