If you haven’t tried yoga before, you’ve probably heard a lot of preconceptions like ‘it’s only for really flexible people,’ or, ‘it’s just stretching and sleeping.’ Although yoga does increase your flexibility and it does involve a lot of stretching, there are definitely a multitude of really good reasons why you should give yoga a go this year. Let’s start with the benefits it has on your body.
Increases your flexibility
This one’s obvious, but not every yogi starts off as flexible as they look in the videos or on the mat in front of you. Flexibility is something that is grown as you go along, and the more you practice, the more flexible you become. The first time you try to touch your toes, it might seem like a really stupid idea as you can’t even reach your shins, but as you keep trying, you’ll be tickling your toes in no time!
Protects you from injuries
Not to say that you won’t get injured if you take up yoga, but the practice of it actually strengthens your muscles so that if you do get an injury, your body will be able to recover much faster. Flexibility comes into play here too as the more you’re able to warm up and stretch out your muscles, the less of a shock it will be to them if you injure them - think less pulled and cramped muscles!
Lowers blood pressure and cures insomnia
When you’re stressed, what happens? Your blood pressure skyrockets and you might find it difficult to get to sleep. Here’s where the regular practice of yoga really comes into play. The relaxation techniques taught in yoga such as deep breathing and mindfulness help to lower your blood pressure, and the slow stretches your body goes through helps it to feel rested after your practice, enabling you to sleep better.
Gives you more energy
Unlike your typical all-out cardio workout, yoga actually gives your body a workout without the complete exhaustion afterwards. People often tend to feel more energised after their yoga practice, and that’s due to a number of reasons - your blood flow is increased from all of that lovely stretching, your mind has taken a break from your stressors to focus on completing the poses, and you’ve been doing all of this great deep and calming breathing!
Sold yet? Tune in next week when we talk about the benefits of yoga on your mind!