Yoga originated over 5,000 years ago in Ancient India. In the Ancient Sanskrit language the word Yoga means "to unite" and is a big part of Ayurveda. They are very closely related and often referred to as “sister” practices.
Yoga is a series of movements and stretches known as “asanas”. They focus on breathing, flexibility and strength. Over the years, yoga has become increasingly popular as many people have discovered its numerous health benefits. No doubt, at nearly every gym and fitness centre, I am sure you have seen some very packed out yoga classes as part of their weekly class timetable, week after week!
So what are the health benefits of Yoga?
1 - Practising Yoga can boost your mental health and helps relieve stress.
Studies have shown that people who practice Yoga daily feel more calm even during stressful situations than people who did not practice at all. The breathing techniques used during yoga has also shown calming affects on blood pressure, heart rate and the overall body.
American Athlete Russell Wilson uses Yoga to improve on his relaxation and mindset. He says “We talk about being in the moment and increasing chaos throughout practice, so when I go into the game, everything is relaxed.”
2 – Yoga can improve your balance and flexibility.
Practising Yoga frequently can increase flexibility, build core strength and improve your balance. This is why many athletes and celebrities ensure yoga is part of their daily routine, as it creates the correct foundation in order for them to achieve their other fitness goals.
Celebrities who swear by Yoga include superstars such as Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Shilpa Shetty, Robert Downey Jr and even Matthew McConaughey!
3 – Yoga may help reduce inflammation and boost Immunity.
Studies have shown that stress and anxiety are huge factors which play a part in causing inflammation in the body, and a poor functioning immune system, which then leads to many health issues.
These negative emotions can trigger the stress hormone Cortisol, and can really lead to your body becoming out of balance and your immune system suffering.
When practicing Yoga, your brain releases the happy hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. This puts your body and mind into a relaxed state, which has a very positive effect on your Immune system and can also help reduce inflammation in the body.
Want to feel the amazing benefits of this empowering ancient Indian practice? Why not try a Yoga class at the local gym, or even find a yoga for beginners class on YouTube!