Yoga supports a healthier mind and body–learn what benefits come with this ancient practice.
Variations of yoga have been practiced for thousands of years, and many modern versions are being shared today. Known for its versatility, this relaxing practice can help you to sculpt your mind, body, and spirit one session at a time.
Let's explore what makes yoga so special and the many exciting reasons that people practice it today.
The History of International Day of Yoga
Although yoga has been a global practice for generations, the International Day of Yoga wasn't introduced until 2014. The very first International Day of Yoga took place on June 21, 2015, and this global holiday has been going strong ever since. Designed to encourage people all around the world to nurture their mental, physical, and spiritual health, it is a day that highlights the many benefits that yoga can offer to those who practice it.
Practicing Yoga: Physical and Mental Health Benefits to Know
Mental Health Benefits
Yoga is a highly effective mindfulness practice that is also combined with physical exercise. To support your mental health, yoga offers these benefits and more.
Anxiety is a widespread problem, and it can have debilitating symptoms. While anxiety treatments should always be discussed with your doctor, yoga can be a wonderful practice to support your treatment plan. People who practice yoga can see a decrease in anxiety-related symptoms. For many people, regular yoga can be a great way to reduce anxiety and improve their quality of life!
Lower Overall Stress Levels
Stress levels often fluctuate from one day to the next, and most of us have different triggers for stress. Mindfulness practices, like yoga, can play a wonderful role in helping to reduce stress levels. Whether you have a stressful job or you are just struggling to get your kids ready in the morning, yoga can have great balancing effects.
Clear Your Mind
Mental clarity helps you to make good decisions and think more clearly. It can impact everything from reading comprehension to critical thinking skills. Since yoga focuses on stabilizing breathing and clearing the mind, it also helps us to achieve more mental clarity. A little yoga can offer a serious performance boost!
As far as physical activities go, yoga is known to be one of the more welcoming and accessible options available. It sharpens the mind and connects us with every inch of our bodies. As you grow into it, you will find that yoga and its many accomplishments (both big and small) allow you to feel more confident.
Physical Health Benefits
Although yoga often focuses on slow and fluid movements, it can be an excellent workout. In every way, yoga supports your muscles, your posture, and your joints. These are some of the more common body benefits that come with practicing yoga.
Yoga as a practice is a method of strength training that focuses on using the weight of your body. As you practice yoga, your muscles will naturally begin to strengthen with time. As more sessions pass, you will find that your strength and stability combine to make you feel more in control of your movements.
Many yoga practices are focused on creating balance and the physical act of balancing. Strengthening your muscles and working through grounding exercises can drastically increase your balance and stability. Some moves may be difficult at first, but many yogis find that they get better at balancing every time they get on their mat.
Although yoga supports physical wellness in many simple ways, there are few areas where it shines brighter than enhancing flexibility. This stretching-based practice will increase flexibility all across your body as you begin to explore more moves. Even if you have very limited flexibility, it may surprise you how much more flexible you get after only a few yoga sessions.
Inflammation is the leading cause of physical pain in many cases, and people use a long list of products to combat it. Yoga will naturally reduce inflammation over time, allowing muscles to relax and reduce pain. People use yoga to support recovery efforts and to manage chronic inflammation due to medical conditions and injuries.
3 Easy Yoga Poses for Beginners
Getting started with yoga may seem intimidating at first, but yoga is actually very friendly for beginners. To try out yoga for yourself, you can explore these great yoga poses for beginners at home!
This classic yoga pose is one that you will use throughout your entire practice regardless of what level you find yourself at. Known for its grounding effects and stabilizing impact, downward dog is used often in yoga.
Ideal for improvement balance and stretching out your leg muscles, this is a great beginner move to start exploring what you are truly capable of. Whether you do this move in its traditional form or by modifying it to make balancing easier, low lunge helps with essential movements, like walking, running, and climbing.
Known for being used in many beginner and intermediate yoga classes, this move will help you to feel empowered. Designed to help you be stable and strong while stretching your arms, shoulders, legs, and back, this full-body move is great for feeling the power of yoga.
Yoga is practiced by people around the world for many different reasons, leading to the introduction of the International Day of Yoga. This practice has a day to celebrate because it comes with many physical and mental health benefits, like improved strength and lowered stress levels.