Yoga seems to be the new ‘it’ discipline, with classes available at almost every gym and everyone snapping their latest pose to share with the masses on social media; but should you take up an exercise just because everyone else is doing it? Usually not, but in this instance, we would implore you to do so. There may be some fitness-fanatics out there who thrive on intense exercises, and yoga may have never appealed due to its ‘airy’ persona; yet, its influence on our mind and body can have impactful effects on your performance in other sports, and life in general.
The benefits of yoga are numerous for those who participate in it regularly, from improvements in physical attributes such as flexibility and advanced core strength to the philological aspects such as calmness and clarity, yoga is the miracle-worker everybody doesn’t realise they need.
What makes this discipline additionally beneficial is that it is unbiased, with forms of yoga for every type of individual, regardless of their size, age or ability. The inclusive nature of yoga is rare to find in many disciplines which makes it the best form of exercise to practice with friends, family or even your co-workers.
So, why should you be one of the people rolling out the yoga matt and striking a pose? Let’s convince you with some of the benefits of yoga we have outlined below:
Improved Mental Health
It is no secret that exercise influences our mental well-being, but some may not be aware that yoga is one of the best exercises for relieving emotional and physical tension. Research has indicated that practising yoga reduces stress levels whilst also lowering blood levels, which makes this type of exercise ideal for those with high-stress occupations. Studies are also currently being undertaken to show the relationship between yoga and alleviating symptoms of anxiety disorders, something which thousands of individuals battle with in the UK.
Yoga may not get your heart racing (in both senses of the word) but it is, in fact, one of the best exercises to lose some unwanted pounds. Research highlights that yoga is, in fact, a fantastic method for middle-aged individuals to lose weight.
You don’t need weights to mould those muscles; yoga engages many of your muscle groups particularly those in the golden areas we all want to tackle (most notably the core and arms). Swapping the boring, repetitive motion of weights for some yoga moves may be something to freshen up your workout every once and a while without compromising on the work you’ve put into keeping your muscles toned and defined.
Yoga also allows you to workout the muscle in your noggin according to a report by Runner’s World. According to their research, yoga, in particular, can help to boost the brains functions, giving the term “a full workout” a completely new meaning!
Getting Some Shut-eye
Yoga can be a non-medicated way to help you get to sleep at night. Many people across the world suffer from insomnia, something which can have a huge bearing on your performance during the daylight hours. Yoga is a great way to calm down after a long day by giving you a moment to quieten the mind and relieve some of that built-up tension you’ve carried around with you.
The regular practice of yoga can radically improve your balance and muscle flexibility. Beginners build up from easy stretches up to more complicated poses, and over time, they are rewarded with better flexibility (and a 6-pack to boot!) This is particularly great for those who suffer from mobility issues or stiff limbs to loosen up the muscles and alleviate the associated pains.
Relieving Aches and Pain
Yoga can actually be the perfect solution to some of the common aches and pains from exercising regularly (including back pain, neck pain or knee pain). In addition, practising yoga can aid in relieving chronic pain as recorded in a report by Harvard Medical School.
As with any exercise, yoga comes with its own risks of injury if individuals are not careful. Most cases are just the average strain which can be alleviated with the help of an effective sports injury treatment such as Physicool.
The majority of injuries surface from over-stretching, so it is important that people who are looking to take on yoga warm-up and cool-down properly. As with any exercise, practising the poses correctly, as well as listening to your body, should reduce the chances of injury. If you’re concerned, seek the advice of experienced and expert yoga instructors who will be able to teach and advise you on your yoga journey. Additionally, keep updated on our blog, where we regularly share guides on injuries and sport-related features.