The Health Benefits of Yoga

You//Fitness and Health

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Yoga is well known to promote relaxation and improve flexibility; however, more and more studies prove that yoga offers benefits that go beyond the obvious. Yoga is a philosophy of life and its aim is the union of the body with the supreme, that is, matter with spirit.

The term 'yoga' means to join or connect. It means taking the self to a state of harmony, peace and serenity through self-knowledge and perfect integration with the outside world. So while men should not shy away, for everyone else: Yoga, combined with a tailored fitness plan, can achieve significant health and fitness results quickly.

Here are our top health benefits of yoga for the body and mind that everyone should know:

- Improves sleep: with a growing percentage of the population suffering from varying degrees of insomnia or other sleep ailments, this benefit of Yoga is a feature often overlooked. Practice a few times a week to help calm the nervous system and improve sleep.

- Improves posture: due to the fact that yoga strengthens your core, you’ll soon notice that your posture is improved with regular practice – goodbye those niggling back pains that have been plaguing you for years.

- Relieves stress: one of the most known benefits of yoga is that if you practice it regularly, your stress levels are reduced. It is a part of the routine that asks you to clear your mind and focus on your breath and body. As a result, stress reactions decrease as calmness descends.

- Helps lose weight: yoga can help you lose weight and keep it off, if combined with a healthy diet as part of a regular exercise program.

- Increases sexual performance: various yoga poses increase the flow of blood straight to the pelvic muscle, intensifying the sexual desire and sensitivity. Yoga movements that require balance and abdomen contraction can build up your core, as a result of the focus on the pelvic area; thereby increasing sexual performance.

- Increases muscle tone: in addition to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, yoga can also help build lean muscle mass, toning and defining the existing ones.

- Sharpens mental health: regular practice of yoga has been suggested to help with concentration and memory. In recent surveys, Yoga has been proven to help prevent and treat disease such as Alzheimer.

- Low impact: yoga is a low impact exercise and that is why it is great for those with joint problems.

- Full of energy: like any other form of training, doing yoga regularly can give you a boost of energy in the long term. It is definitely much better than any energy drink.

- Breathing problems: one of the main benefits of yoga for many people is the fact that it can help solve respiratory problems such as asthma. If you suffer from asthma or other lung difficulties, talk to your doctor before starting the practice of yoga.

- Improves blood circulation: yoga is a relaxation exercise that helps you improve your blood circulation. Yoga also increases the amount of oxygen your organs receive, resulting in improved performance.

- Strengthens your arms and legs: yoga can help improve muscle tone of your arms. Moreover, yoga gives you well-toned legs, with thighs and well defined calves.

- Prevents osteoporosis: we all know that weight lifting exercises prevent osteoporosis by strengthening bones. Many yoga poses require weight lifting and some help strengthen the bones of the arm, which are particularly defenceless in osteoporotic fractures. In a recent study, practice of yoga has increased bone density of the vertebrae. Yoga also has the ability to decrease the levels of cortisol; the stress hormone that helps keep calcium in the bones.

- No more back pain and stiffness: several researches have shown that the regular practice of Yoga can actually be more effective than drugs for the treatment of back pain and stiffness.

Chris Smith is the Managing Director at Vivi Nation

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