Yoga has gained immense popularity and attention in the past few years. However, it isn’t new to the world of physical health and fitness. Yoga is an ancient practice that brings the body, mind, and soul at peace and in harmony.
People are now becoming aware of the different forms of yoga and its different benefits. A lot has been said and written about how yoga brings peace to mind and how it makes the body flexible. Yoga is also gaining attention as a great way of losing weight, feeling fuller, having healthier relationships and generally being happier.
But the benefits of practicing yoga are not restricted to just mental peace and physical strength; the benefits go much deeper. Unlike all the other exercises, yoga is a complete guideline for a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.
Let us look at some of the not-so-common benefits of yoga:
Shapes your personality for better
Yoga is known to bring many positive alterations in the personality of people who adopt it as a daily practice.
- Discipline: Following same yoga poses and routines each day, taking out a fixed time from the otherwise busy schedule and performing each pose with perfection helps in the teaching discipline. Yoga cannot be carried out in the absence of discipline.
- Gratitude: Yoga teaches us to be grateful for all the bounties of life and also for the things that one does not have. Every breath that is taken and released makes you realize the value of a healthy life, and help you look forward to the good things that are still about to come your way.
- Organized: Yoga makes a person organized. When time is fixed each day to practice yoga, it affects everything that is done throughout the day. Subconsciously, one starts prioritizing things that are important and allocating fixed time slots for each task. Since yoga also helps in getting one physically fit and active, it acts as an added advantage towards completing all the tasks for the day with zeal and fervor.
- Diminishes the ego: Yoga teaches us to let go of ego, listen to the instructor, follow the instructions and carry out poses that bring a positive change in the personality. Yoga teaches us that no one is perfect, and we need to learn from other at every stage of life.
Another major benefit of yoga that is often overlooked is that it brings awareness. It makes one more conscious of the little things that go unnoticed.
- Concentration: Yoga increases concentration through its breathing and focussing techniques. For example, focusing on a particular flower in the garden while practicing yoga, one might notice the tiny details and how physically balanced each flower is.
- Balancing: The balancing techniques in yoga help in perceiving life in the light of balances. It teaches us how important it is to keep a balance in life. For example work-life balance, a balanced diet and a healthy balance between work and rest. Balance is the essence of a healthy life.
- Making the right choices: Yoga trains the mind to make the right choices. Regarding weight loss, it could be more intelligent food choices. It also trains the mind to indicate when one has eaten enough and this helps in controlling overeating. It also helps you build lasting relationships and decide who should stay in your life and who shouldn’t.
Everyone knows the physical benefits of yoga. It helps in improving posture, flexibility, and some cases; people have noticed an increase in their heights too. There are other hidden physical benefits of yoga such as:
- Muscle toning: Through some tough poses, yoga helps in toning body muscles. Some poses also target muscles we don’t normally use.
- Coordination: Yoga helps in creating coordination between different parts of the body. Without coordination, even the simplest poses become impossible.
- Endurance: Yoga improves overall body endurance. It is practiced by some athletes as a way to become better at their sport.
- Parasympathetic nervous system: Other forms of intense workouts and exercises trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which makes the brain go into ‘fight or flight’ mode when challenged with unwanted situations. Yoga acts oppositely. It relaxes the mind and lowers blood pressure by stimulating the parasympathetic system differently.
- Dexterity: Yoga brings grace and skill through its poses that help in increasing flexibility and strength of the body.
- Sub cortex: Unlike other exercises that target the cortex region, yoga dominates the sub cortex.
- Mood: Yoga works on improving overall wellbeing – and moods also get positively affected by it. You feel more optimistic, lighter and happier.
- Confidence: There are special poses in yoga that help in boosting confidence.
- Self-acceptance: When there is a boost in confidence, it brings self-acceptance.
- Control: Yoga helps in controlling emotions. Many people lose control of their emotions in stressful or unfavorable situations. Yoga helps in training them to take a step back, relax and then react wisely.
- Improved memory: Yoga improves blood circulation to the brain. This results in a sharper memory, and regular yoga practice keeps mental ailments at bay.
- Attention: Yoga demands that a person pay full attention to the workout during a session. It also requires excellent listening skills. With regular training over a period, attention and listening skills improve.
- Reaction time: Studies show that yoga helps in decreasing reaction time thanks to its breathing techniques. This is a result of concentration and quick processing practices that are a part of yoga.
- Clarity: Yoga alleviates stress and other mental issues. This gives clarity to the mind, and it helps in making a right and firm decisions.
Studies have shown yoga to be beneficial in reducing symptoms and progression in some diseases.
- Migraines: Yoga is known to decrease the occurrence of migraine attacks in chronic migraine sufferers.
- Scoliosis: Yoga helps in strengthening the curvature of the spine caused because of scoliosis.
- Epilepsy: Yoga can help with epilepsy through increased focus, balancing and breathing techniques.
- Sciatica: Yoga can help in alleviating intense pain that is caused by sciatica.
- Menopause: Yoga helps in dealing with some side effects of menopause.
- Muscular dystrophy: Pranayama yoga has helped people in regaining many of abilities lost due to muscular dystrophy. Yoga, if practiced in the early stages of the disease, can help in bringing back some of the physical functions.
- Asthma: Yoga reduces asthma and symptoms related to it.
- Some different techniques and poses help in the prevention of serious diseases like Osteoporosis, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s ( prevention and progression), and type2 diabetes.
Attitude towards others:
Yoga not only helps in improving your attitude towards yourself, but it also helps in improving the way you deal with others.
- Positivity: Yoga is all about practicing positivity. It helps in bringing peace to you, and if you are at peace with yourself and the world, you naturally exhibit the same quality to others. The deep breathing techniques help in taking out all the negativity and help you soak in all the positivity. It also helps in forgiving and moving on in life.
- Responsibility: There are forms of yoga that require couples to practice together. This teaches a sense of responsibility towards your partner as one holds the other and prevents injury. It also creates a sense of dependability between the two partners – and can be helpful for couples going through a rough time in their relationship.
- Thinking out of the box: Practicing yoga brings creativity and the ability to see things from different angle. This becomes quite beneficial from the social point of view.
Yoga is a complete way of life. You can choose from some yoga forms. If you are new to yoga, take a yoga retreat, and you will come back asking for more!