The Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has been in existence for over 5,000 years and is currently being practiced by over 11 million individuals in North America alone. With a large number of health benefits, yoga is more than just a trend in fitness. It doesn’t seem like yoga will be going anywhere anytime soon!
Yoga classes offer benefits for the mind and body that allow you to relax and develop strength, flexibility and balance. Yoga is generally safe for individuals of all ages, even those with a variety of health conditions, and for people at virtually all levels of fitness.
One of the most common misconceptions regarding yoga is that you have to be extremely flexible in order to reap the benefits of yoga. However, this is not the case. You are never too old or too inflexible to reap the rewards of increased flexibility. Yoga offers a safe way for all individuals to stretch their muscles. Yoga is beneficial in releasing a build-up of lactic acid in muscles, which can lead to muscle stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue. Yoga also helps to increase joint lubrication, which can be very beneficial for individuals suffering from arthritis and other joint conditions. By practicing yoga, you can safely increase the range of motion in your joints. Research indicates that yoga can not only stretch your muscles, but all of the soft tissues of your body – including the fascia sheath, ligaments and tendons.
Yoga is also beneficial in increasing your strength. By practicing yoga, you are able to strengthen your abdominal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings – by strengthening these muscles you are less likely to experience back and knee pain.
Yoga can also help with posture. Many yoga poses focus on your core muscles. With stronger core muscles, you are better able to stand up tall. This is also beneficial in helping to alleviate neck and back pain.
Other benefits of yoga include reduced stress, improved lung capacity, better concentration, improved mood, a stronger cardiovascular system and reduced symptoms of arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and depression.