By: Calla Fragassi and Mackenzie Malek
Yoga is a form of exercise that is very accessible to anyone at any age. There are different yoga practices that you can begin at any point in your life. Yoga is filled with different benefits and is a great addition to your workout routine for your bodily health.
“The most cited reason people selected for doing yoga was to increase flexibility” according to healthline.com. Yoga can improve your flexibility by stretching muscles and joints, and the more you practice yoga the more flexible you will get. As you get older you often get less flexible which is a natural part of aging.
If you want to avoid this and reach the full potential of your flexibility, you should try to practice around 3-4 times a week. Flexibility is a very important part of your health and on its own has many benefits such as increasing muscle blood flow, a decrease of your risk of getting injured and overall helps improve your performance in physical activities.
Having good balance is essential for daily life movements. Yoga has been shown through multiple studies that it can improve the overall performance of athletes. Famous NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson uses yoga to improve his balance and remain calm in stressful situations.
As people age, we tend to lose balance. Many doctors and physicians recommend elders to practice yoga to improve balance and decrease the risk of falling as people get older. More accessible yoga includes adaptive yoga or chair yoga. This is more commonly seen with people with injuries or elders who aren’t mobile enough to perform traditional yoga.
When people first think of yoga, they might associate it with stretching and flexibility. Although yoga can be helpful in those areas, there are designated yoga classes that are mainly focused on strength and muscle building. By starting with simple movements that test your body and its strength, overtime you will see the difference yoga has made for your body.
Yoga can help to build and tone muscles in your body, improve endurance, and improve cardiovascular health. If you plan on solely doing yoga to increase strength, it is important to stay consistent and incorporate different movements into your sessions.
Good posture is something that everyone wishes to have, it can reduce pain and lower your risk of injury. Yoga can help with your posture in a few ways, the first being it strengthens your core. This might not be what you always think of first when thinking about good posture, but when having a strong core you are more likely to both sit and stand tall.
Another way yoga benefits your posture is through body awareness. After practicing yoga for a while you are more aware of your own body which helps you notice how you are sitting, and if you are slouching you are more likely to quickly notice and change your posture.
Improves mental health
Yoga is essential for your physical well-being, but many yoga users start for the mental benefits over the physical. Yoga is commonly used as a way to relieve stress and anxiety. Breathing exercises, sound baths and meditation have been shown by the National Institutes of Health on multiple occasions to relieve stress in the body.
MDD (Major depressive disorder) is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world. In 2017, 23 different people living with MDD observed that their symptoms significantly decreased after going through yoga-based treatments. Yoga therapy and breathing practices have become more common in the past few years, and are used to decrease depressive symptoms.
Yoga can also help improve self-esteem issues in teenagers and adults. Practicing yoga may be helpful with body image and confidence with patients with anorexia.
If you want something that can improve your physical and mental health, yoga is the perfect practice for you. Taking that time from your day to slow down and focus on yourself is beneficial for many different reasons. Having a consistent yoga routine where you are practicing a few times a week, can overall keep you clear-headed and relaxed.