by Krista Harper
Yoga Instructor and Freelance Writer
Guest Post Contributor
When it comes to promoting a more physically active and overall healthy lifestyle, there is one activity that is most often listed as the top choice among many people: yoga. As folks seem to have less time for long gym workouts, aerobic or fitness classes, and other traditional, lengthier exercises, they are having to opt for sessions that offer the maximum amount of positive results for the time invested. These are some of the things that make this age-old practice from all over the world so beneficial:
Stimulates Harmony and Balance
Perhaps the greatest aspect for this activity is the fact that it’s not only designed to offer an external improvement, it also does wonders for the mind and soul as well. By spending the time to practice the calming and more spiritual as aspects such as meditating and mindfulness, you too can experience an internal transformation, depending on how far you choose to pursue it.
Being in this state of mind also helps balance numerous other healthy activities such as making better nutritional choices, standing more instead of always sitting, and taking regular supplements to increase overall wellness.
Promotes Restful Sleep
Studies have shown that the average adult gets less than six hours of sleep per night, when our bodies’ really need at least seven to eight. This day after day cycle of not getting enough rest slowly eats away at us, increasing our irritability and agitation just a little bit over the course of time. Yoga helps us to condition ourselves to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer
Something else that seems to be on the rise these days is stress and anxiety. One of the main reasons that yoga can help to reduce these problems is that it can help you to get better sleep which helps people to feel an overall better sense of wellbeing. Also, whether it’s problems at work or maybe issues in their personal relationships, people need a way to manage and reduce those negative emotions and mental states.
Increases Focus and Mental Clarity
There has also been some research done concerning the benefits of yoga as compared to others who did more traditional exercises such as cardiovascular training, weightlifting, or group fitness classes. What the researchers found was that while the participants who had practiced yoga showed a comparable amount of physical improvement to other groups, they also exhibited superior cognitive gains such as an increase in concentration and memory
Among all of the other good reasons to take up yoga that we have previously mentioned, you also have an often-overlooked benefit to it; greater flexibility. This isn’t something that people really think about when it comes to their health and being in shape, but this is a huge factor in your general wellness. This is especially true as we age and our joints start to stiffen and our muscles begin to tighten. The ability to stay limber will make it easier to continue exercising and keep yourself that way.
There is a reason this method of body, mind, and soul enhancement has been around for thousands of years. And it’s only even recently that those of us in the western world are really beginning to tap into the greater potential of this highly productive activity.
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