Picturing the practice of yoga, you might imagine an individual with peace written all over their face as they sit cross legged with palms turned up, or standing with body arched into the air. In fact, this vision is pretty much what you get to experience if you decide to try the sacred practice of yoga. Yoga is the practice of bending and stretching the body to strengthen the body as well as the mind. This practice has been in use for over 5,000 years and the benefits are life changing.
Yoga, as many know, has numerous obvious benefits for physical health. A well known benefit is improvement of flexibility. As the body loosens up, aches and pains begin to disappear as each part of your body gradually becomes more fluid and helps the other parts in a cycle of body repair. As this happens, your muscles become stronger. The practice of holding your body in poses of concentration helps to build your strength and prevents further pain and arthritis. As you are building muscle strength and improving flexibility, you are draining your lymph nodes of toxins and improving your immunity to sickness. These are only a few of the many physical benefits of the yoga practice.
Exercise has been proven to benefit happiness and mental well being through the release of endorphin in the brain, and the practice of yoga is no exception. Studies have shown that consistent practicing leads to lower levels of depression through higher releases of serotonin in the brain, a chemical responsible for balancing moods. Yoga leads to increased happiness and satisfaction in one's life. It also leads to an increased peace of mind as the poses take you to a place where thought isn't needed, only the concentration of one's breath and body. Less stress and more happiness, what could be better?
Sometimes, it is hard to gain the motivation to hit the treadmill or make it to that spin class. Yoga is a form of exercise that one can look forward to, a form of exercise that clears the mind and tones the body. As a person who practices this sacred stretching, I can say that yoga is an oasis in the middle of a day of work and school that I attend a couple times every week. Within only a few weeks of starting last year, I noticed a healthy change in my body and also in my stress levels. It helped me to gain mindfulness in my everyday life.
The benefits explained in this article are only a few of many. Yoga is a practice that can benefit anyone, of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Whether one decides to take a class or practice on their own from watching a video on YouTube or reading a book, it can become an easy, everyday practice. If these benefits haven't sold you to give it a try, here are 38 more: http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yo....