One of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga is improved flexibility. Surprise, right? 😅
If you’re not the most flexible person, then don’t worry,- during your first class, you would probably notice that you are not the only one who isn’t able to touch your toes. That is completely normal and we all have to start from somewhere. And if you stick with it, you'll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.
You'll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
Yoga also builds muscle strength and strong muscles do more than just look good! They also protect us. When you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. Yoga improves your posture. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Each time you practice yoga, you take your joints through their full range of motion. This can help prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability by "squeezing and soaking" areas of cartilage that normally aren't used.
Doing yoga regularly protects your spine. Spinal disks are the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves—crave movement. That's the only way they get their nutrients. If you've got a well-balanced asana practice with plenty of backbends, forward bends, and twists, you'll help keep your disks supple. Also your bone health improves, because many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight. And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures.
What is really important - yoga gets your blood flowing. The relaxation exercises you learn in yoga can help your circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result.
Twisting poses are thought to wring out venous blood from internal organs and allow oxygenated blood to flow in once the twist is released. Inverted poses, such as Headstand, Handstand, and Shoulderstand, encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.
Yoga and meditation builds awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks as smoking, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind. It also increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain steady in the face of bad news or unsettling events.
Pretty many great side effects of practising yoga! So why not to do it?! 🤩
Your partner in yoga,
MyEMS Fitness Online Team