7 Reasons You Should Give Yoga a Try
We all have a friend who is a yoga goddess. She glows, and talks about how balanced and refreshed she feels after her time in the studio. Her fitness shows in her confidence and she is just so freaking calm.
You can’t help but wonder, “what is up with yoga?” Does it live up to the hype? The answer is a crazy loud “YES!” Yoga is excellent for your body and has a tremendous positive impact on your mental health. Let’s see why you should give yoga a try.
The History of Yoga
Yoga dates back thousands of years to ancient India. The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj," meaning to unite or join. Yoga was originally referred to as the practice of connecting your individual soul with the universal consciousness. Some of the oldest reference materials for yoga include details about its ethical principles, meditation practices, physical postures, and breathing techniques.
Yoga gained popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s due to the efforts of the most revered teachers of the time, Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Yoga has evolved significantly over the years, now incorporating elements of Pilates, dance, and martial arts to keep up with interests and trends. Modern yoga also focuses much more on the physical rather than the spiritual aspects of the practice. We engage in yoga to get fit and lower stress while ancient yogis were looking to enhance meditation and connect to the energies of the universe.
While yoga’s history is long and steeped in some mystery, the core principles remain the same: connect spiritually, cultivate awareness and mindfulness, and elevate your emotional and physical well-being.
The Benefits of Yoga
While the various versions of yoga can differ with their own unique practices and philosophies, the benefits of practicing yoga span all its varying modalities. Here are our seven favorite benefits of yoga:
- Improve flexibility: Yoga poses involve stretching and lengthening your muscles, which can help improve your range of motion and reduces your chances of injury from lack of mobility.
- Increase strength: The challenging poses of yoga can also help you build strength, particularly in your core, arms, and legs.
Reduce stress: Practicing yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, as many poses are designed to calm the mind and body. Yoga also promotes meditation which is a huge stress reducer when done regularly.
- Better balance and coordination: Many yoga poses require balance and coordination, which can help improve these skills over time.
- Improve breathing: Yoga often involves practicing breathing techniques, which can help improve lung function, decrease feelings of anxiety or stress, and aid in regulating your nervous system responses.
- Increase mindfulness: Yoga can help you become more mindful and present in the moment, which can improve your overall sense of well-being and connectedness.
- Lower blood pressure: Some studies have suggested that practicing yoga can help lower your blood pressure over time, which can positively affect cardiovascular health.
This ancient but trending practice is a great choice if you are looking to expand your physical and spiritual horizons. You will surely feel stronger and more balanced after just a handful of classes. We encourage you to give it a try!