Physical Benefits of Yoga
The secret is out: yoga is good for you. Very good for you. Well, while we’re on the subject, any physical activity is beneficial; the very act of moving is beneficial. But few exercises, sports, or workouts have the unique physical rewards that yoga has to offer.
Still a relative newcomer to the western world, yoga has recently begun to reveal its secrets with western science. It has allowed us to discover concrete facts about yoga’s benefits to healing aches and pains (including chronic pain), improving fitness and flexibility, and enhancing overall health.
Whether you’re an adult or a child, yoga is guaranteed to offer you a multitude of physical benefits. Remember that you can never start too early or too late to benefit from yoga – whether you’re two years old or ninety-two, you will gain huge rewards from it, even if your purposes for doing so differ. An adult may begin yoga because they are looking to improve their flexibility, build their muscle strength, and perhaps lose some weight. A child may require yoga for reasons such as improving their sleep, enhancing their confidence, and building concentration span. However, the benefits of yoga go so far beyond these that it is quite astonishing, and no matter what the reasons for someone getting into yoga, or their age, or their level of strength and flexibility, all will reap the rewards…
A list of yoga’s physical benefits:
- Improves sleep not only through physical tiredness but because yoga lowers stress levels
- Improves flexibility, builds muscle strength
- Releases tension in joints and limbs
- Supports connective tissue
- Prevents injuries
- Improves digestion and detoxification as many postures massage the internal organs
- Oxygenates the blood, aids circulation, increases blood flow
- Releases endorphins and therefore improves the mood
- Boosts immunity so that you will catch fewer colds and illnesses
- Increases mental clarity/concentration
- Perfects the posture, provides healthier bones
- Improves your balance
- Deepens and steadies the breathing, calms the mind
- Can ease headaches and migraines because many poses correct blood flow and release tension
- Offers a stronger, lighter body
- Makes everyday tasks easier and burdens feel lighter
- It’s fun!
Yoga is a nurturer and nourisher of the human body. While many physical activities require you to fight with your body to get it to do what you want (and to get the physical payoff), yoga instead encourages you to be gentle and to work with where you are at right now. Yoga doesn’t want you to push yourself past your limits and therefore injure yourself by striving for perfection; it only requires you to practice gently and calmly in the moment. Improvement takes time and practice, both for adults and for children.
And best of all, perfection isn’t required to enjoy the rewards of yoga; if you start today, you will start to reap that huge list of benefits by tonight. So get into downward dog and bring your child with you – very soon you’ll both be feeling invincible!