The benefits of yoga are varied and can be driven by what the student is looking to gain at a point in time. Some people may want to switch off for the duration of a class, others may want to build strength and balance whilst others may be looking to focus on particular parts of the body.
None of the intentions are wrong, and over time they will change as a student’s yoga practice evolves.
From our perspective, the most important thing is that people, of all ages, genders, fitness and levels of experience are finding time in their busy lives to join a yoga class – be it via a local yoga studio, watching yoga videos online or joining live online classes.
Listed below are a few of the health benefits of yoga
We believe that what makes yoga stand out is that it combines physical movement with mindfulness – being present in the moment.
Why does yoga help your health?
How Yoga Focused and Deeper Breathing Helps
- The most obvious is the respiratory system, increased lung capacity from deep breathing
- Adrenal system – lowering stress
- Heart and circulatory system is improved with more oxygen flowing through the bloodstream
How Yoga Strength Poses and Movement Helps
- By pulling the muscles and soft tissue in many directions, studies have stated that yoga improves bone density, which is great for arthritis and bone strength
- By moving your joints, it encourages more synovial fluid production (the lubricant in between the joints)
- Strong poses lead to stronger muscles, supporting the entire body. With improved core strength, this is the power centre for all your other muscles. Strong core means strong lower back, legs, arms, shoulders, etc. The muscles are all connected!
Yoga for Stress Relief
Out of all the scientific experiments for yoga, the most “proven” studies are stress reduction. The most obvious benefit would be improved sleep. But there are many other symptoms of stress that can affect the body physically: Improvement to back and neck issues, improvement to the digestive system (as bundles of nerves centre around the abdominal area), and reduction of headaches to name a few.
Whichever class you join, you will follow the same key principles:
- Yoga poses (asanas) are the physical movement of the body into the yoga stretches
- Focus (Drishti) is where you need to concentrate your gaze when in the pose
- Breathing (Pranayama) ensuring that each move is coordinated with the breath
- Relaxation pose (Savasana) brings every class to an end allowing the body and the mind to be still. This is the most important part of any class – so if you have the time – please do stay until this has been completed.
Having enjoyed many sports, we have found that it is the combination of both physical activity with mindfulness that has made our own practice more enjoyable. Most people often start with the physical benefits in mind, but over time get to appreciate the broader health benefits of yoga.
Finding The Right Yoga Class For You
To get the most health benefits from yoga you need to find a teacher, studio and style of yoga that works for you. You may need to try a few classes until you find the right one for you.
As time moves on, both your needs and interests may change.
Only you will be able to figure out what ‘right’ is for you – it could be any of the following.
Increasingly organisations are focusing on wellbeing at work initiatives to support colleagues. Weekly Yoga classes are often included in these programmes.
At YogaTonic UK we are supporting organisations, locally and nationally by providing office yoga or unlimited access to online yoga classes.
Integrating yoga stretches into your working day can also help reduce lower back pain and general stiffness. Watch our selection of short desk yoga videos that will help to keep you moving throughout the working day. As a monthly subscriber you can also benefit from discounts on standing desks from sit-stand.com
Looking To Join a Local Yoga Class?
If you live locally why not join us for a face to face yoga class on the deck, overlooking Cookham Moor?
To find out more click here.