5 Benefits of Yoga for a Healthy Mind and Body

The new generation is obsessed with staying fit and healthy. While gym, zumba, aerobics and even dance have been quite popular amongst the youth in the past, according to the latest reports, yoga and meditation have now become the most adopted fitness regime worldwide, with 15% Americans practicing Yoga, at least thrice a week. Looking at the current yoga statistics, it's easy to see that yoga is growing in popularity.

Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits that help in both physical and mental wellness, building harmony, awareness, and strength between the mind and the body. It’s a lifestyle that requires discipline and awareness. 

Become more focused

Incorporating yoga in your lifestyle can be very effective in developing focus and resilience. It improves a person's overall mental well-being that centers attention and sharpens concentration. Yoga breathing exercises and asanas are centered on concentration so you are aware of every cell in your body. This practice works to relax the mind, reduce the fluctuation of mind and strengthen the ability to concentrate.

Increase muscle strength

In addition to mental health, yoga is a great addition to a fitness routine for its strength-building benefits. There are a number of yoga asanas such as Bakasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana and Pincha Mayurasana that work and tone your entire body. Holding these poses for 10-11 breaths helps build muscular strength. Just by practicing consistently, beginners can strengthen their major muscle groups as well as smaller support muscles.

Improve flexibility and balance

A flexible body can achieve a wider range of motion. Practicing just 15–30 minutes of yoga each day helps your muscles to move freely that prevent injuries and optimize performance. Ideally, yoga poses for flexibility are broken down into 3 major muscle groups: Hamstrings, Hips, and Back.

Improve Cardiovascular Health

Several studies have found yoga to enhance cardiovascular health. Many yoga poses, such as Tadasana, Vrikshasana and Trikonasana, help lower blood pressure, calm the nervous system, reduce disease-causing inflammation and boost HDL cholesterol. Yoga is effective in dealing with stress and pressure that can automatically prevent several heart diseases. It is now being included in many cardiac rehabilitation programs in corporations and schools as a preventive measure.

Support weight loss and maintenance

Touted as a fitness regime that helps you “burn fat without breaking a sweat”, yoga is often a go-to fitness regime for people looking for a more centered and calmer way to shed those extra kilos. Yoga for weight loss works effectively by reducing the overall stress that lowers the cortisol levels. This helps a person make better decisions in terms of diet and lifestyle. Additionally, there are certain poses that put a strain on muscles causing them to rip in a good way. Ripped muscles need a good amount of energy to rebuild and this energy is taken from the fat your body has stored.

Before you start...

There are so many different kinds of yoga practices to choose from. How do you know which one's right for you? The trick is to know what you aim to achieve through your yoga practice. For instance, if you are a beginner, Hatha Yoga could be a great way to start your journey to practice. Asanas in Hatha Yoga are usually paced slower than other yoga styles. When you find a practice that works for you, stick with it. Make it an integral part of your life, and harvest the benefits.