Yoga is a 5000-year-old Indian body of knowledge, but the scientific benefits of yoga have been validated over the years. In the last few decades, the importance of yoga and meditation has seen an upsurge in its popularity. Not only has research proved the many benefits of yoga exercise, but medical professionals and celebrities are also adopting and recommending this incredible practice of regular yoga practice.
What are the Benefits of Yoga?
The benefits of yoga for physical and mental health is now mainstream knowledge. Basic yoga poses are meant to exercise your whole body, right from your head to your small toe. Whether you’re 5 or 95, the benefits of yoga and meditation can be availed by anyone.
Yoga classes are now being incorporated in schools, colleges, and workplaces to make people aware of the effects of yoga on health. How to do yoga at home videos are also easily available online for anyone who prefers self-training.
Here are some of the most prominent benefits of yoga:
1. Yoga Benefits for Men
While women are still the majority in yoga classes, men benefit just as much from regular yoga exercises. The benefits of yoga for men include enhanced athletic performance due to increase in power, strength, and flexibility.
Yoga also increases men’s respiratory capacity, circulation and motion efficiency. It optimizes muscle tone, lowers stress levels, increases mental agility and also boosts your sexual performance.
2. Yoga Benefits for Women
Benefits of daily yoga offer both sexes increased flexibility, muscle tone, mental clarity, back health and enhanced circulation. Some aspects of yoga are especially supportive for women. From fertility to breast cancer to positive body image, the benefits of yoga for women are endless.
Certain yoga positions can address the menstrual problems by helping to calm the nervous system. During pregnancy, the effects of yoga on the body can reduce physical discomfort during labor and improve the overall quality of life.
3. Benefits of Yoga for Children
Our children live in a world full of distractions, from video games to school pressures, exam stress, extracurricular activities, the stress to cope up with others and peer pressure.
The influence of this fast-paced life can have a profound effect on all aspects of their growth. It is our responsibility to instill healthy habits in them from an early age so that they can counter these pressures and go through their lives with a sense of peace in their minds and a good self-esteem.
Kids yoga poses are comparatively simple, there are innumerable benefits of yoga for kids, such as improved flexibility, better self-esteem, and confidence, deeper sleep, improves immunity and increase in blood circulation.
4. Emotional Benefits of Yoga
The benefits of doing yoga everyday not just affect our physical, mental and spiritual health but concentrates also on our emotional state of mind. The emotional benefits of yoga work on both the physical and mental levels. This is one of the reasons yoga is so powerful.
It can change the way we think and the way we feel. Restorative yoga poses can be used as a calming practice to change the way we physically feel an emotion.
5. Physical Benefits of Yoga
There is a myriad of advantages of yoga poses for physical health. Even the simple yoga poses help to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.
Some yoga health benefits include increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone, improved respiration and circulatory health, better immunity and balanced weight.
6. Mental Benefits of Yoga
Taking care of our mental health is just as important as our physical health, if not more. Yoga for overall health and wellness aims to cover all aspects of our being.
It improves concentration, focus, and mental clarity, reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, stabilizes our mood, improves sleep and increases feelings of well-being.
7. Benefits of Yoga for Back Pain
Certain body yoga asanas release the tight muscles in your back and alleviate back pain. Yoga helps stretch and strengthens both sides of the body equally.
Proper body alignment and good posture, helps maintain the natural curvature of the spine which is important for reducing or avoiding lower back pain.
8. Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss
Obesity or being overweight is a common problem in the world today. People choose to go on crash diets or plunge on intense workouts in the gym, but for many, this doesn’t work. This is where the importance of yoga in our life comes in, yoga is a great way to lose weight if practiced regularly using the right form.
Yoga for weight loss consists of some easy yoga poses which involve physical dynamics that help in opening up the muscles and thereby facilitate weight loss.
9. Benefits of Yoga in the Morning
Morning is undoubtedly the best time to practice daily yoga for healthy life. The effects of yoga are best brought out in the morning. It helps to build a healthy and consistent routine, it boosts your metabolism and is a great alternative to caffeine.
The advantages of yoga and meditation are best reaped in the morning because the air is clear and so is your mind.
10. Importance of Yoga for Students
The importance of yoga and meditation in a students life is immense. Yoga helps with stress, relaxes your mind and doubles your concentration levels.
Yoga for better health revitalizes your body and can fight fatigue and exhaustion. Higher energy levels replace your weariness. Yoga develops your body awareness and gives you proper posture.
Types of Yoga and Its Benefits
Being such a wide realm of practice, basic yoga is classified into different types of yoga, each type with its own set of yoga benefits. Most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (asanas), however, the experience of one style can be radically different than another.
Below we have outlined the most popular types of yoga, along with some information about yoga of each type and their characteristics, to make it easier for you to know where to begin.
1. Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that emphasizes on physical exercises to withdraw it from external objects. Hatha yoga poses aim at attaining proper diet, processes to internally purify the body, proper breathing and its regulation particularly during the practice. Meditation is a key point of hatha yoga.
Some benefits of hatha yoga are:
- Builds immunity
- Relaxes the mind and releases tension in the body
- Tones the spine
- Strengthens and tones the body
- Increases flexibility
2. Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa is derived from hatha yoga but their practices and positions are different. Vinyasa yoga is more fast paced and is a series of movements each linked to another. It is a more advanced form of hatha yoga flow.
Benefits of vinyasa yoga for overall health are:
- Offers strength training
- Improves flexibility
- Calms the mind and relieves stress
- Regulates proper breathing
- Have cardiovascular benefits
3. Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is synthesized from the traditional hatha yoga poses. It is a hot yoga style and is ideally practiced in a room heated to 35-42 degree Celsius, with a humidity of 40%. It allows the body to stretch, detoxify, relieve stress, tone and heal chronic pain.
Bikram yoga benefits:
- Detoxifies the body
- Increases heart rate
- Assists in weight loss
- Increases blood flow
- Increases flexibility
4. Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga poses are a dynamic blend of physical postures, breaths, movement, stretching, meditation, and relaxation. It also strengthens the nervous system, expands the lung capacity and purifies the bloodstream.
Kundalini yoga poses and benefits are:
- More spontaneous flow of joy and happiness
- Greater peace and ability to stay calm
- Greater clarity of thought
- Increased strength
- More energy and vitality
5. Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga yoga poses are dynamic, physically demanding and the practice synchronizes breath and movement to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body. It consists of advanced yoga poses which are great for building core strength and tones the body.
Benefits of Ashtanga power yoga benefits:
- Relieves stress
- Promotes stamina and endurance
- Tones the body
- Improves flexibility and core strength
- Helps in weight management
6. Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga poses are a practice of precision. Poses are held for long periods and often modified with props. This method is designed to cultivate strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness. It is a particularly good form of yoga for beginners because so much emphasis is placed on the best possible alignment of the body for all beginner yoga poses.
Benefits of Iyengar yoga for better health:
- Makes you flexible
- Tones your muscles
- Improves immunity
- Keeps stress at bay
- Improves posture
7. Pranayama Yoga
Yoga breathing or pranayama is the foundation of your yoga practice. The importance of yoga and meditation are combined to form controlled breathing patterns which cure our body internally if practiced regularly. Pranayama is the perfect breathing exercise which increases the positive energy level in the body and removes toxins.
The yoga breathing benefits are:
- Improves circulation
- Relieves stress, depression, and hypertension
- Releases anxiety
- Improves blood circulation
- Prevents heart-related problems
8. Bhakti Yoga
Bhakti yoga is one of the 4 main yogic paths to enlightenment. It is considered the easiest yogic path to master and the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body, and spirit. Some bhakti yoga benefits for the body are:
- Softens your personality and keeps you away from negative emotions
- Gives you peace and knowledge
- Reduces sorrows and pains
- Takes away worry, anxiety and fear
- Helps you control senses and handle tough situations with ease
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are a result of research by the author. It is advisable to use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information mentioned above. The author will not be responsible for any damage caused.