“The word ‘yoga’ means ‘to unite’ and refers to the fusion of body, mind and spirit through meditation, breathing and physical postures” (Rosen). Whether you are young or old, yoga is a practice you can do. The more you practice yoga the better the results will be. This is because “yoga rewards consistency” (Crawford). The practice of yoga promotes health and wellness benefits. A few examples include: increasing your blood flow, ups your heart rate, raising your self-esteem, and building muscle strength.
Believe it or not yoga gets an individuals blood flowing. Specifically, the relaxation exercises help your circulation in your hands and feet but thats not all that yoga does. Yoga “gets more oxygen to your cells, which function better as a result” (McCall). Inverted poses (headstand, handstand, shoulderstand) “encourage venous blood from the legs and pelvis to flow back to the heart, where it can be pumped to the lungs to be freshly oxygenated” (McCall).
While regular aerobic exercises such as running, increases your heart rate and lowers the risk of heart attacks yoga can boost your heart rate if you do exercises vigorously. “But even yoga exercises that don’t get your heart rate up that high can improve cardiovascular conditioning. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise” (McCall).
The numerous self esteem boosts yoga provides is incredible. Firstly, it gives one peace of mind by slowing down “the mental loops of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress” (McCall). Secondly, it gives you the inner strength you may not of had before starting this practice. Inner strength could be sticking to a diet or quitting a bad habit that effects your life in a negative way like smoking. Thirdly, yoga helps focus on the present. “Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores” (McCall).
When practicing yoga, you build muscle strength and balance it with flexibility. Yoga protects us from experiencing arthritis and back pains. Yoga also protects an individual from cartilage and joint breakdown, your spine, and perfects your posture. When your body and head are aligned with your spine it reduces the work on your neck and back muscles. Spinal disks are shock absorbers between the vertebrae that can herniate and compress nerves. Your spinal disks crave movement because that is the only way they get nutrients. Therefore, your body needs to be capable to backbend, forward bend, and twist.
In short, this small list shows some of the benefits of doing yoga. If individuals fit at least one hour of practice per week consistently they will see significant improvements into their health and wellness. Thus, as you can see, yoga promotes individuals lives to be more positive whether that be in their relationships, personal goals, work life, etc.
I encourage you to answer the following three questions below, to provide feedback on this subject. I believe Yoga is something that every individual should try and do because of the amazing benefits it has on your mental and physical state of mind and body. The following three questions are:
- What do you think is the most important benefit from practicing yoga?
- How often would you do Yoga a week, and why?
- Should Yoga be incorporated into more fitness routines, either as a warm up or cool down?
Crawford, B. (n.d.). How Often Should You Do Yoga a Week? Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/should-yoga-week-7362.html
McCall, T., M.D. (2015, April 21). 38 Health Benefits of Yoga | Yoga Benefits. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38- ways-yoga-keeps-fit/
Rosen, K. (2005, March 01). The Benefits of Yoga: Transform Your Mind, Body and Spirit. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from http://www.motherearthliving.com/naturalbeauty/how-yoga-can-transform-your-mind-body-and-spirit