Yoga benefits the body, mind and spirit. In recent years, yoga has worked its way into the mainstream health and fitness programs because people have begun to understand the benefits that those who practice it gain. When practiced regularly it can make a measured difference in a person’s physical, mental and spiritual health.

 

The physical benefits of yoga are outstanding. It’s been shown that yoga can:

 

  • Increase muscle, joint and tendon flexibility

  • Tone and strengthen muscles

  • Increase cardiovascular efficiency

  • Decrease blood pressure

  • Increase respiratory functions

  • Improve eye-hand coordination

  • Improve posture

  • Improve balance

  • Increase energy levels

  • Lower weight

  • Increase endurance

  • Eliminate toxins from the body

  • Heal damaged muscles

  • Limit the effects of diabetes, digestive orders, arthritis, asthma and heart conditions and decrease dependence on drugs for these problems

  • Manage pain

  • Reduce anxiety

  • Increased stamina

  • Slow the aging process

  • Improve the immune system

 

One of the most impressive physical benefits of yoga that many people report having is an increased awareness of their bodies and when their bodies aren’t performing as they should. They can actually sense when a health problem is beginning. This allows them to start treating the problem before it goes any further, preempting many serious illnesses.

 

Yoga not only contributes to physical health; with regular practice it also can improve mental health. Practitioners of yoga have reported the benefits for centuries, and recently the scientific community has begun to research and confirm what has always been believed. The psychological benefits of yoga can include:

 

  • Mental clarity

  • Stress reduction

  • Emotional groundedness

  • Increased body awareness

  • A relaxed mind

  • Improved ability to pay attention, concentrate and retain information

  • A countering effect to the feelings of depression or helplessness

  • Increased brain activity including an improved communication between the left side of the brain and the right side of the brain

  • Positive changes in mood

  • Positive change sin vitality and energy

  • An increased sex drive and a healthier view of sex

  • Pride in taking care of the body

  • Kinesthetic awareness

  • A decrease in hostility and anger

  • Increased social skills

  • A feeling of being refreshed immediately after yoga – as if just waking from a good nap

 

On the spiritual level, many who practice yoga also report benefits. Some of the spiritual benefits believed to come from yoga are:

 

·          A greater awareness of nature and a person’s connection to nature

·          A feeling of being at one with the universe

·          An awareness of how the yoga practitioner’s life affects the lives around him

·          A sense of peace

·          Enjoyment of oneself

·          Enjoyment of life

·          Awaking of the energy within oneself

·          A connection with the soul

·          An awareness of the Life Force

 

It’s easy to see how the three areas that benefit from the practice of yoga – body, mind and spirit – can intertwine. When the three areas are working together in harmony, the benefits of yoga increase. Because of the effects that yoga has, there is much that a person can accomplish that he may not be able to if not for yoga.

 

For instance, many people report that practicing yoga has helped them with smoking cessation. When the body is less stressed, when there is an increased awareness of the body, when there is an emotional groundedness and when there is sense of peace, it is easier to resist the pull of a cigarette or many other addictive habits. The practice of yoga can change much in person’s life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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