My Top 5 Benefits To Practice Yoga Right Now!!

The Yoga industry, along with so many others, has certainly been thrown into a big spin with Covid-19 … Yet now, more than ever, people need Yoga!!

Here are my top five (5) amazing benefits practicing Yoga can give you right now:-

1. Boost Your Mental Health.

All exercise is linked to lowering the symptoms of depression, and Yoga is no exception … A review of studies published in Frontiers in Psychiatry suggested that those with depression, schizophrenia, sleep problems, and other mental health conditions could all benefit from practicing Yoga. 

Additionally, there is a growing amount of research that back up Yoga’s mental health benefits including body awareness, relieving stress, sharpening attention & concentration.

Practicing Yoga can move you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic(PSNS) nervous system (or from flight-or-flight to rest-and-digest). When you reside more in the PSNS you typically have less anxiety and more easily enter a relaxed state quicker. As soon as you start breathing slower you can move out of the fight-or-flight and calm your nervous system.

2. Increase Flexibility & Mobility.

This one may be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because, hey, you may be finding yourself just a bit tighter or stiffer as you isolate or work more from home. 

Let’s face it — some activities don’t do much in the name of loosening our muscles. Yoga, on the other hand, focuses greatly on doing just that. Poses that are held for several rounds of breath create a deep connection to the muscle tissue, encouraging it to relax and stretch. In fact, many people notice a big increase in their flexibility after only eight (8) weeks of regular Yoga practice.

The muscle memory created by a regular Yoga practice reminds the body that you’ve been there before and that firstly it’s OK and that perhaps you can explore moving further in that position. Yoga allows your body to move through every range of motion, and though it may be sometimes uncomfortable to sit in a pose for duration, stretching the muscles and fascia allows you to move deeper into a pose.

3. Reduce Pain.

Practicing Yoga can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. A study carried out in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly Yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Another study published at nearly the same time found that Yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain.

Chronic, always-present pain isn’t something to mess around with but many people quite often say that a large degree of their pain is alleviated &/or removed after practicing Yoga on a regular basis.

4. Gain A More Positive Outlook.

You know it’s true … The way you think and act greatly affects your mood and how you feel about yourself. So it’s important right now to give yourself the opportunity of finding a “safe space” where you don’t feel judged, overwhelmed and can be in tune with your thoughts. 

Yoga is a great place for that. By setting some intentions at the beginning of practice and focusing on the present moment, you become more aware of negative thought patterns as they arise. By understanding them & replacing them with a new activity, such as controlled breathing and mindful movement, you can reduce the stress that often accompanies negative thoughts , …thus drastically improving your overall attitude & outlook.

5. Sleep Better.

Good sleep is often sought but seldom achieved and practicing Yoga can certainly help!! Yoga is known to relax both the body & the mind allowing the breath to slow & stress levels to drop. That is why Yoga can promote a more restful sleep. According to a recent  American national survey from the NCCIH, over 55% of yogis report improved sleep, and more than 85% said they were less stressed.

When you are well-rested your mind tends to function more optimally. For many, this is very hard to achieve naturally and without the help of prescriptive medications but many of the medications that help you sleep put you at risk of other health issues … so Yoga is a far better option!!

I would love to know if you have found Yoga to be beneficial through Covid-19?

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