We all heard it before – doing yoga can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul. But not many people actually take the time to really think about what yoga has to offer.
According to Jaggi Vasudev, a yoga guru from India, over two billion people around the world practice some form of yoga “because it works”. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, we can’t help but be curious about “how it works”!
So whether you’re already a yogi or planning to become one, here’s a closer look at what happens to your body when you start doing yoga.
- 1. Depression and Stress Levels Go Down
- 2. Weight Loss Becomes Easier
- 3. Energy Levels Go Up
- 4. Flexibility and Posture is Improved
- 5. Sleeping is Easier and Deeper
- 6. Detoxification is Better Promoted
- 7. Aches and Pains Become Less Frequent
- 8. Hormones Become Well-Balanced
- 9. Confidence and Concentration Shoot Up
- 10. Risk of Heart Disease is Lowered
- Wrap Up
1. Depression and Stress Levels Go Down
The first thing that most people notice once they start practicing yoga is how much laid back they become, both mentally and physically.
Yoga does indeed help your body relax by reducing stress levels, mainly because it involves three important elements: meditation, breathing, and posing – all of which can help regulate your heart rate and, consequently, lower your stress levels.
With a normal heart rate, your body will be in a calmer state so you’ll be able to respond positively when presented with aggravating situations.
Managing your stress can help boost your overall health and decrease the risk of diseases.
Yoga can also help you overcome depression by reducing the levels of cortisol hormone in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that negatively affects the serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the occurrence of depression.
By decreasing your cortisol levels and increasing your serotonin levels, yoga can help you better deal with stress and depression.
2. Weight Loss Becomes Easier
As a calorie-burning exercise, daily practice of yoga can definitely help you shed those pounds faster, as well as maintain your desired weight.
Yoga’s unique ability lies in helping you lose weight while making it easier to uphold your new weight. One form of yoga that’s particularly designed for such purposes is none other than power yoga.
Power yoga is a vigorous workout that incorporates your entire body. The athleticism involved in power yoga promotes stamina, flexibility, and posture.
Because it thoroughly works out your muscles, power yoga burns more calories compared to traditional styles of yoga. Experts recommend daily yoga sessions to effectively fuel your metabolic system.
Doing yoga can also lower your body’s cortisol levels, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and reduce stress. As a result, yoga can help suppress your appetite and prevent emotional eating.
3. Energy Levels Go Up
Doing yoga every day, even for a few minutes, will provide you with a boost of energy and make you feel empowered with a healthy and strong body.
Yoga will help keep you active and feeling fresh, so you’ll be able to run errands and get work done without feeling exhausted most of the time.
Be sure to assume different poses to allow for equal distribution of energy throughout your body.
4. Flexibility and Posture is Improved
Doing yoga will have you stretching your muscles and you’ll notice your body getting more toned and generally attractive.
Daily sessions will help create a muscle memory that reminds your body of having been in certain positions before. This will help you achieve such poses easier and even go into deeper, more advanced ones.
Yoga is all about putting your body through a wider range of motion that’s beyond your comfort zone. Granted, sometimes it can be difficult to stay in a pose, but stretching your muscles and joints into new positions is how you can improve your body’s flexibility and reduce joint stiffness.
It’s a more passive approach though – instead of powering through postures, yoga allows your body to release into them and grow accustomed to the different positions.
5. Sleeping is Easier and Deeper
Who couldn’t use having a good night’s sleep more often? Fortunately, this is one of the benefits of doing yoga!
In a detailed study published by Catherine Woodyard, she shows how yoga can contribute to sounder and more restful sleep, as well as its impact on enhancing the overall quality of your life.
When you sleep better, your stress levels decrease, your productivity increases, and your cognitive abilities get sharper.
Yoga can be particularly helpful to people suffering from anxiety since they usually struggle with insomnia as well. Yoga helps your body pump more blood towards your brain’s sleep centers and reduces activity in your nervous system.
You’ll be able to come out of your ” fight or flight” state and regain balance. By triggering your parasympathetic nervous system, yoga can help you fall and stay asleep.
6. Detoxification is Better Promoted
Not many yogis realize this specific effect of yoga, but it does happen nonetheless. We’re talking about detoxification; the process where your body gets rid of toxins and wastes that compromise your general health.
Yoga promotes better flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, as a result, it also encourages the elimination of toxins, wastes, and other byproducts generated by your bodily functions.
Certain poses can stimulate and apply gentle pressure to detoxification centers in your body (such as digestive organs, kidneys, and liver), which helps improve the body’s detoxification process.
Regular practice of yoga can boost the self-cleaning of the body, leaving you feeling fresh and healthy.
7. Aches and Pains Become Less Frequent
Another thing you can expect from doing yoga is having less frequent aches and pains. This is especially true when it comes to people suffering from chronic pain conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, and low back pain.
One study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that a weekly yoga class increased mobility among 313 people suffering from chronic low back pain more than standard medical care for the condition.
Another study published around the same time found that doing yoga had effects comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic back pain.
Also, a meta-analysis of 17 studies that included over 1,600 participants concluded that doing yoga can enhance daily function among patients suffering from fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine.
If helping reduce pain is why you want to pursue yoga, make sure you speak to your doctor about it first. Then, find a qualified yoga instructor and inform them of your condition. They’ll be able to help you find poses to relieve your pain.
8. Hormones Become Well-Balanced
Doing yoga regularly will help bring all your body’s systems to a state of equilibrium while allowing the processes inside your body to function properly.
Yoga focuses on the functioning of glands in the endocrine system, which is responsible for secreting hormones that regulate nearly all the processes happening in your body.
When you practice yoga every day, you’re helping nourish your endocrine glands on both a physical and an energetic level. Some yoga poses can even provide a soothing and rejuvenating effect on your adrenal glands.
Yoga can also deliver a healing effect and control the production of cortisol hormone, effectively lowering your stress levels.
9. Confidence and Concentration Shoot Up
Doing yoga can help you appear more naturally composed, which in turn, helps you build up self-confidence.
Yoga also encourages the development of positive external and internal qualities such as balance, strength, and calmness – all of which work together to make you more energetic so you can tackle your daily activities with confidence.
The daily practice of yoga can also help improve your focus, allowing you to remember things easier. Yoga poses are designed to let you better concentrate on your breathing, calming your body, and training your mind at the same time.
Yoga will help you think more clearly, steering your thought process towards a positive attitude so you can break free from anxiety and concentrate on important tasks. This promotes mental stability that’ll serve you in collecting and remembering more information.
In this aspect, inversion poses are quite beneficial because they allow a rich flow of blood into the brain.
10. Risk of Heart Disease is Lowered
Last but not least, doing yoga can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
Stress is one of the major factors that contribute to heart disease.
Emotional stress, for example, can manifest in several physical effects including the release of cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones will narrow your arteries and raise your blood pressure.
Thanks to deep breathing and mental focus, yoga can help reduce your stress levels, and in turn, help you to a healthier heart.
You’ll notice the effects of doing yoga by comparing your general state before and after you start your practice.
Reduced stress levels, better flexibility, improved concentration, and greater strength are all among the changes that your body will go through with the practice of yoga.
For maximum benefit, be sure to pick the right program that’ll properly address your body, mind, and soul. Be sure to also check out our guide on what to bring to your first yoga class.
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