It's no secret that Azzurra Soul loves some yoga. But did you know that it's incredibly good for your body? We look at some of the benefits of yoga for your well-being.
Yoga And The Nervous System
When it comes to the nervous system, it's much healthier to be cool and calm. But unfortunately, in this day and age, stress overload is the norm! This puts a huge strain on our nervous systems.
Yoga can help in two major ways:
- The breath awareness can help switch us from the 'flight or fight' nervous system over to the 'rest and digest' nervous system
The physical exercise of yoga helps to release feel-good neurotransmitters and reduces our stress hormones levels
So yoga actually makes you physically calmer, not just mentally!
Yoga And The Muscles
We want our muscles to be strong, but not tight or knotted. This is hard to achieve, as most muscle-building exercises can cause tight muscles with lots of knots. Ouch!
That's where yoga is different. Yoga:
- Builds muscles with strengthening poses, and
- Gently stretches muscles out to prevent tightness and knotting
The end result is a strong body, without the stiffness or pain.
Yoga And The Ligaments & Tendons
You might think a limber body is all in the muscles. But the ligaments and tendons are just as important, if not more so. Ligaments and tendons are also what protect your joints from injury and damage.
When you practice yoga, you:
- Increase your body's proprioception, or knowledge of where your limbs are in space
- Stabilise any ligaments and tendons that have been overstretched
- Loosen any tight ligaments and tendons
This results in a more balanced, coordinated body. It also lessens your chance of injury and chronic damage to your joints.
Yoga And The Bones
You might not be thinking about your bone health just yet. But now is the perfect time to build up your bone density. How can you do that? There's lots of ways, but one easy one is yoga.
Bone density is built by putting stress on the bones. And putting stress on the bones is done by practicing any kind of weight bearing exercise. Yoga is a low-intensity option for weight bearing exercise.
Yoga And Weight
So many people want to lose excess weight. And it's completely understandable, given the prevalence of obesity in our society. But many quick-fix programs just make things worse. Yoga may be a good option for a long-term fix.
When it comes to weight loss, yoga may:
- Help increase mindfulness, and prevent emotional eating
- Reduce stress hormones that can cause abdominal adiposity (tummy fat)
- Help to establish a regular fitness regime that burns excess energy
- Introduce people to a healthier lifestyle overall
The truth is, it doesn't really matter how yoga helps people maintain a healthier weight. The important thing is that it can do so, in a healthy way.
So, if you want:
- A calmer, cooler nervous system and less stress
- Stronger, leaner and pain-free muscles
- Protected joints and a low risk of injury and damage
- Healthy bone density
- A healthy approach to weight loss and maintenance
… Yoga is your answer.
Why do you practice yoga? Is it for your body, your mind, your spirit, or all of the above? Share with us below.
Sam is an inspired nutritionist (BHSc), health writer and speaker. Her passion lies in sharing her knowledge and helping people to find their own path to a thriving life. You can find her at www.samanthagemmell.com