What Can Yoga Do for You?
Yoga has gotten a somewhat hazy reputation as being “girly” and “weak”. While it’s true that most yoga classes are probably about 90 percent women, this is no sport for the weak-willed or atrophy-muscled. More and more men are becoming involved in yoga for its many healing effects. There are tons of amazing health benefits that come from doing yoga, many of which you may have never heard of before. Below, we’ll talk about a few of the benefits that yoga can provide to exercisers.
Health benefits of yoga:
1. Reduce Physical Pain
Most exercise can have the effect of reducing muscle pain, if done right. Yoga, in particular, is made to help you focus on relieving the tension in the muscles that are the most painful for you. But muscles aren’t the only thing that can benefit. Yoga exercises are made to improve the function of your internal organs as well.
Things like digestive problems and chronic pain issues can be greatly helped by adding a regular yoga routine into your day. Some interesting yoga positions that are said to help those with digestive problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, are the Triangle, Cobra, Upward Facing Dog, and Camel. By moving your body in unique ways, you will help increase blood flow and stimulate functionality for internal problem areas.
2. Tone Muscle and Promote Weight Loss
For anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight, you know how important exercise is to that process. And not only exercise, but doing the right combination of exercises. If you are doing all cardiovascular(aerobic) workouts, then you aren’t going to have the same weight loss benefits as you would if you did both aerobic and anaerobic(muscle strengthening) exercises. A good portion of yoga combines both of these.
[box type="note"]While some forms of yoga focus more on the anaerobic, there are others that will combine it with aerobic forms as well. Anaerobic exercise is particularly important to weight loss since it builds muscle, which burns more calories. If you are standing next to someone who weighs the same as you, but has more muscle mass than you do, they are burning more calories just by standing there than you are.[/box]
3. Improve Quality of Sleep
A key component of yoga is to help reduce stress, which will be discussed further below. As you lower your stress levels and use your muscles in the various yoga formations, it will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. You will be physically tired as well as mentally clear of mind. Doing everything possible to get sufficient sleep is something that all yoga instructors will recommend to anyone because of its intense benefits to your overall health.
4. Improve Your Level of Self-Control
Of late, there have been articles and research done about the ability of yoga to control binge eating. Yoga is an exercise that is founded on being able to have control over your own body. As you learn to control your physical movements as well as thoughts, you will naturally start to be able to control your actions in other areas of life. Hence, you will be learning the skills to control things like binge eating or other destructive behaviors to your health.
5. Reduce Emotional Stress
This is the last benefit of yoga we’ll talk about in this article. It was saved for the end because it is possibly one of the most important benefits of yoga we will discuss. In fact, the reason why many people begin yoga in the first place is because of its famous ability to help reduce stress levels, and thus overall health.
After the Southeast Asia tsunami in 2004, many individuals suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). One psychiatrist, Patricia Gerbarg, decided to test the ability of yoga to help control the effects of PTSD on tsunami victims. After a mere four days of yoga practice, participants had an amazing reduction in PTSD symptoms. Even if you aren’t as interested in the physical benefits of yoga, you should be aware that the mental ones are equally important.
About the Author
Natalie Clive writes for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers assists students in finding the best online colleges and determining which online degree program is right for them.