Yoga offers many benefits joining the body, mind, and spirit. Although considered an Eastern Practice, Western research of the practice of yoga shows many cause and effect benefits of yoga. Improved strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, endurance, and decreased back and joint pain highlight the body benefits of yoga. Yoga practice effects on the mind include improved concentration and focus, energy, decreased anxiety, decreased stress, disease prevention and improved markers of disease and disease risk. Many would think of these as body benefits, however yoga breath and meditation impact on the mind and nervous system are the cause for these effects! Yoga also benefits the spiritual self as the intention of yoga is to bring gratitude and appreciation for life, for the body, the earth around us and to bring a connection to the creator. Yoga brings a connection to your faith, and your faith brings about your interpretation of the connection. Yoga has it’s thousands of years roots in the Buddhist religion, however despite some peoples’ belief, religion is not taught or preached in yoga classes. Common traits of religious faith include the belief in a higher power or creator, being a kind and good person, treating self and others with respect and dignity, and that we are created equal. This blog is not about the practice of religions, but rather to highlight the sameness. Yoga guides you to live by your faith and values. These spirit benefits contribute greatly to the mind and body benefits. The spirit is the component of well-being most often missed which leads to the struggles of the rest of self care.
Practicing yoga is to honor and appreciate the beauty and wonder of our bodies and our surroundings. The spirituality piece and yoga helps you reconnect to your spiritual self. Remember that yoga, or any other one fitness or wellness practice will not bring total well-being, but yoga does fill many aspects of well-being.
The practice of yoga has been well studied and is an ongoing topic of research. The benefits are amazing, when you practice and embrace a healthy lifestyle as well. The following are a few of the well documented benefits for yoga, from Western research.
Health Benefits of Yoga Breath and Meditation:
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased energy
- Improved mobility
- Improved breathing
- Increased concentration & focus
- Reduced stress
- Decreases anxiety & depression
- Improved self-confidence and body image
- Weight loss
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Improved glycemic control
- Improved Osteoarthritis
- Improved Asthma
- Effective strategy to promote healthy lifestyles in post menopausal women
- Minimize aging induce oxidative stress-related disease
- Overall, improved physical, mental, intellectual, & spiritual well-being.
Often in yoga classes there is an intention for the class. This is often a personal intention such as healing self or a loved one or for a cause you believe in. I’d like to offer an intention for this blog, of awareness.
How does the practice of yoga benefit your body, mind, and spirit?