Yogahas been practiced forthousands of years, because historically people have knownthe benefits of yoga. It is important, however, to rememberthat there are more than 10different styles of yoga that are most most popular, and each style has its own identitywith respect to the benefits you might expect to see from their practice. I have created numerousarticles describing yoga for beginners which you can search for to explain these differences, but this article is writtento expound on what yoga can do for you. No matter ifyour focus is physical, mental or both, practicing yoga can benefit you enomrously in many ways. Let's start with the mental side first:
Mental Benefits of Yoga
Concentration Improvements: This one's difficult to prove factually, but concentration improvements have beenconstantly enjoyed by most practitioners. I have personally experienced these improvements!
Increase in Feeling of Well-being: This is the result of the improvedmind-body connection and calmness, due to improved concentration, the reduction ofhormones associated withstress and an inward focus.
Depression Reduction: This is the result of a number of biochemical reactions, including oxygen level increasesin the brain, as well as the release of the associated "negative" energy.
Hostility Decreases: This is the result ofthe increased level of relaxation and control you learn through practicing yoga.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Increased Range of Motion: The sequence of yoga poses gently stretches your muscles, ligaments, and tendons over time.
Detoxification: This stretching also massages your organs, and ensures blood flow is optimized. This helps to release toxins.
Muscle tone: Often positions are held for a while causing the aforementioned stretching, but at the same time muscles are worked and strengthened as well.
Lower Blood Pressure: This stretching and massaging provided by yoga also serves to lower your blood pressure, by increasing blood oxygenation and improving circulation.
Cardiovascular Efficiency Increases: The combination of reduced blood pressure and increased oxygen levels raises your level of endurance.
Real Life Benefits of Yoga
Lower Risk of Injury: Due to your new found improved range of motion, strength and improved blood flow, your body will be better protected from future injuries and able to heal quicker.
Improved Coordination: Due to your improved mind-body connection and range of motionyou will become more graceful.
Reaction time: This is a result of better circulation and the better mind-body connection.
Endurance: Improved blood flow and oxygenation lead to better cardiovascular health and improved endurance. This is one of the many reasons endurance athletes like runners include yoga as a part of their training.
By the way, these are only a small subset of the benefits of yoga! As you've probably figure out by now, I am a true fan of yoga, and there a ton of reasons to get started with yoga today...