We’re glad you’re here, looking for more motivation and reason to begin, or to continue your Yoga practice.
Many people think that Yoga involves contorting your body into a pretzel, with both legs behind your head or holding a handstand for over 1 minute (we can’t do either of those things by the way!). Yoga is so much more than just stretching and strengthening your body.
Sure that can happen and is definitely one of the benefits you’ll feel from creating a consistent Yoga practice but really, Yoga is a complete mind body awareness practice. It is a practice that welcomes more clarity, peace and contentment with life itself.
Why is Yoga good for your body?
Below we’ve shared our top 10 reasons why we believe Yoga is good for your body and why you should begin (or continue!) your practice today.
Yoga improves your flexibility
Yoga improves flexibility by increasing blood flow to your muscles and joints.
It also helps with muscle tone, strength, balance, coordination and posture. The exercises and stretches you do in a Yoga class all help you increase flexibility.
There are many different types of Yoga poses, but they all have one thing in common: they require you to stretch, bend, twist and compress your body into different positions that you wouldn’t normally do in everyday life
When you first start practicing Yoga, you may find it hard and difficult to get into these poses and positions. This is completely normal.
We like to say: practice makes progress. It’s the consistency that creates the results with your flexibility. So if you’re looking to become more flexible, Yoga (especially Yin Yoga) could be the perfect practice for you.
Yoga builds strength
Another one of the many health benefits of yoga is that it can help you with building strength. You might think it’s only a flexibility practice but this is not true!
Do just one Flow Yoga class and you’ll know what we’re talking about! Team it with Pilates and you have yourself the ultimate body weight resistance training program (this is why we created MerryBody!).
Building this strength can help you reduce the risk of injury, increase muscle tone and improve joint mobility through poses like Plank Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Boat Pose and endless more. Long term, strength is very important to ensure high bone density and simply the ease of your life.
Yoga can help you de-stress
Practicing yoga not only offers physical health benefits but it can also help reduce stress levels, both during the meditation section of a Yoga class, as well as the way you breathe during a Yoga class.
Stress affects the body in many ways, including making you feel tired and restless, which can lead to insomnia. Stress can cause you to feel unfocussed, frazzled, indecisive and can even lead to anxiety and depression.
Yoga has been shown to help release tension in the muscles. The action of breathing in and out through your nose can also encourage the body to move into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest and digest.
So, if you’re feeling stressed, or anxious, it might be time to practice some of your favourite yoga poses with your yoga teachers, us! We will share a class below.
The thing with Yoga is you don’t have to try to de-stress yourself… the practice itself will naturally do this for you.
Sure, during your first class you might find that your mind races (this is normal with this form of exercise) but as you continue to practise, you’ll notice the mind slow down. The simple action of jumping on your Yoga mat and pressing play on a class will signal to your body and mind that it is now time to relax.
Yoga improves your balance
When we think about balance, it is a state of equilibrium. In the context of Yoga, it is a point where you feel your body and mind is free from distractions. And also, physically you’re able to comfortably balance, whether that’s on one foot, two feet, sometimes just your hands!
It is an important aspect of Yoga because it helps you to be more mindful and focused.
Remember, it’s all about consistency, a regular yoga practice is an excellent way to improve balance, the more you practice, the more easily you will find it to stand on one leg, or to float into bird pose (see below).
If you find it hard to balance, try to focus your gaze on one spot that isn’t moving, in Yoga this is called a Drishti point.
It helps with weight loss
We know, weight loss is still at the forefront of many people’s minds when it comes to exercise. And remember, most exercise will help you to lose weight. Any movement is better than none we say!
However, we believe that HOW you move is just as important as moving itself. Yoga is a mindful movement practice, so it’s not just focused on the physical changes.
Within MerryBody, we’ve combined the movement with the powerful practice of self acceptance and self belief. This combination has been a proven method to create not only a successful physical workout but also a strong, resilient and content mindset.
It’s important to also note that other health conditions can impact your weight, so we always recommend to check in with your Doctor, get a full blood test and see if they pick up on any issues.
The great thing is that Yoga has been known to assist in other health conditions like high blood pressure and inflammation within the body, there are even studies that show it can improve your immune system.
It helps lower blood pressure
As mentioned above, Yoga has been proven to be an effective way to help with high blood pressure. It has been found that people who do Yoga on a regular basis have lower blood pressure than those who don’t do yoga.
This is because, when you are doing Yoga, your body releases endorphins which are natural mood enhancers and relaxants. This reduces stress levels and prevents the release of adrenaline which can increase blood pressure.
The benefits of Yoga are so great that it is now being offered as a treatment for high blood pressure in some hospitals.
Yoga improves sleep quality
If you have trouble sleeping at night or suffer from insomnia, Yoga is a great way to improve your sleep quality. Yoga can help you relax and reduce stress, which can help you sleep better at night. It promotes a calm, focused state and it helps you disconnect from your thoughts. It’s also good for insomnia because it teaches mindfulness and encourages deep breathing.
More on how Yoga improves sleep here.
Yoga helps with chronic pain
If you suffer from chronic pain, Yoga may be an effective way to manage it (or even reduce it). Practicing yoga on a regular basis can help improve flexibility and range of motion in the joints, which can reduce or eliminate pain caused by inflammation or arthritis.
It helps improve your memory
Memory loss is a common problem among adults. It can be caused by stress, depression, and lack of sleep. If you’re having a hard time remembering everything that happened throughout the day, Yoga may help you!
Yoga is a great way to improve your memory because it stimulates the brain in ways that other activities don’t. It has been found that Yoga can increase the cortical folding in your brain, this is what keeps your brain youthful and alert. Read more about what Yoga does for the brain here.
It improves your breathing
Yoga is a form of exercise that involves stretching and breathing techniques that help increase the quality of life.
The way you breathe in a Yoga class has been shown to improve the cardiovascular health of people, reduce stress levels, and increase lung capacity.
Breathing is one of the most important parts of Yoga as it helps in cleansing your lungs, heart and blood vessels. The breathing exercises can also regulate your heart rate and blood pressure.
Here are some breathing techniques to try today.
Now I want to start Yoga!
Or perhaps you’re feeling motivated to create an even more consistent practice. We totally understand why!
There are so many types of Yoga and Yoga classes out there, we’d recommend trying them all and seeing what feels best for you.
The thing is, we’ve only scraped the edges when it comes to the benefits of Yoga. Sure there are these amazing changes that happen before and after a Yoga class to your body but what about your mindset?
This is where we’ve seen the most positive change. We now live with acceptance and contentment and we can absolutely thank our Yoga practice for that. It really has benefited our mental health and it is a tool we lean upon often.
If you think it’s something you might like to try, we’d love to offer you a Free Yoga Class to try right now! Simply, sign up HERE and we will send it right to your inbox!
Emma + Carla