To achieve and maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit, physical activity is a crucial ingredient. While there are many forms of exercise, yoga is definitely one of the oldest ones around and why it’s a staple in Aaptiv workouts.
Even though the origin and history of yoga can be traced back to as far as 2700 BC, the discipline is becoming increasingly popular among the modern generation. This is mostly attributed to the many benefits that come with the ancient Asian discipline as it seeks to create harmony and balance between the mind and body. From relieving stress to soothing pain and improving fitness, there are literally more than a dozen reasons why everyone should practice yoga.
Here are some ways how yoga workouts help the body and the mind.
Yoga improves flexibility
One of the major benefits of doing yoga stretches poses is that it increases flexibility in your bones and muscles. As a matter of fact, some studies even suggest that yoga can help improve body posture. It can also be a great way to strengthen your core. As a matter of fact, some medical practitioners recommend certain yoga moves to people suffering from issues such as arthritis and other joint ailments. These moves help increase the range of motion in the joints and make you more supple. What’s most important is that the body, mind, and spirit are actually interconnected, which is the basic principle that yoga works on. For instance, Uriel Yariv, a highly experienced coach at Mahasiddha Yoga, says that what you believe is what you achieve, and this applies to yoga workouts, too.
It’s good for your heart health
The entire body depends on the heart and the blood vessels to supply its various parts with vital oxygen and vital nutrients from the food you take. This means that the heart, blood vessels, and the entire circulatory system should be at it’s best at all times for you to stay healthy. One of the best ways to boost cardio health is through yoga. According to the American Heart Association, yoga can be helpful in improving circulation, enhancing lung capacity, boosting respiratory function, boosting the heart rate, and even lowering blood pressure. Studies show that these, combined with many other improvements that yoga brings could help prevent heart disease, according to the Harvard Medical School.
One of the biggest mental benefits of yoga is that it has the power to reduce stress. This is mostly achieved by the breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques involved in yoga, combined with certain physical poses. With reduced stress, one is also able to sleep better and even feel happier during the day. Both of these benefits are good not only for the mind, but for the body and spirit, too.
Can improve mindfulness
The other great thing about yoga is that the stretches, poses, breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques, when combined, can help one to practice mindfulness. This is where you let go of distractions and focus your attention to the present moment, acknowledging your feelings and emotions. Along with other benefits of mindfulness, this can help restore a healthy balance between your body and mind, thus improving your physical and mental well-being.
It can increase bone density and skeletal health
Sure, you know exercise does wonders for your muscle and toning, but did you know it’s also beneficial for our skeletal health? Valerie Knopik, PhD., a Yoga Medicine instructor explains our bones are living tissue made up of a combination of rigid tissue and collagen. “This combination of materials allows our bones to be both strong and supportive but also capable of absorbing shock. Because our bones are living tissue, they are designed to respond to stressors placed on them,” she continues.
So, when you go through a yoga move, you’re applying a healthy stress that causes them to remodel themselves and stimulate growth. “The physical shapes that we create, the asana practice, all consist of weight bearing postures. Standing poses, such as warrior 1, or other poses, such as plank pose, use body weight and thus help to stimulate growth and build bone density over time,” she adds.
It fosters community connection
Think about how many times a day you pick up your phone. Without realizing it, you probably give it far more attention than you do your partner, your best friends, or family. This ever-connected, 24/7 access to technology, social media, and discussion has its benefits—but also it’s pitfalls. Dr. Knopik says yoga has a way of bringing us away from our tech obsession and into the moment. “True connection—when people feel seen, heard, and valued—rarely happens online,” she continues. “Local yoga studios and community events foster relationships with like-minded individuals who share your aspirations, interests, and perspectives on life. These relationships can improve health in a variety of ways, by helping us manage stress, improving the function of the immune system, and giving meaning to people’s lives.”
Nothing is healthier than staying committed to a fitness regimen. Aaptiv makes it easy for you.
It improves your health and well-being from the inside out. The above six are just a few ways in which yoga can improve your physical and mental well-being.