The National Health Service in the UK defines Yoga as an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility) and breathing.
Further research has led me to discover that yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
The benefits of yoga have been enjoyed for a very long time by millions of individuals from various faiths. And many more are discovering its many benefits.
In this post I will be sharing with you some of the benefits of yoga for everyone. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- All-round fitness
- Increased energy
- Inner peace
- Weight loss
- Stress relief
- Living with greater awareness
- Better relationships
- Better flexibility & posture
- Better intuition
- Improved immunity
I have spoken to a number of individuals who practice yoga so that I could have first-hand information to share with you. The one question I asked them all was: what is the best advantage of doing yoga which would make you want to recommend it to others? Below are their views.
Debra is 52 and has been practicing yoga for approximately 5 years: I commute 1 and a half hours a day to and from work. My job is pressuring and by the end of the day I am highly stressed. By doing 2 yoga poses I have been taught, I can de-stress a lot of the tension built up during the day. Those 10 or so minutes each day are the best part of the day for me.
Heather is 49. She is a working mom who is also doing a part-time managerial course: Yoga helps me with my posture. Ever since I was a teen I have been told that I have poor posture. I tend to slouch a lot especially when I am sitting. Through practicing yoga poses, I am learning to walk, sit, and stand without slouching or rounding my shoulders too much. It helps to show my graceful height which I have been trying to hide. Lol. I used to think I was tall and lanky, but since practicing yoga, I have been told I am tall and graceful, compliments which I graciously accept.
Helen, 55, is a primary school teacher: Yoga helps me both with weight loss and managing my weight. I know this might seem hard to believe, but it’s true. Yoga helps me to be more mindful so I think carefully about the type and amount of food I have at each meal time, that way I don’t over indulge or eat too much of the wrong types of food. The long term effect is that I keep my weight in control. That’s my main reason for loving yoga.
Maggie, 65, is a retired trauma nurse: During my working life, I have seen so much pain and suffering in the patients I have worked with. I used to get so worked up about it all until I discovered yoga. With yoga training, I have been able to refocus my thoughts and energies into more positivity. Yoga, therefore, is my go-to for inner peace and serenity.
Stanley, 50, is in his third marriage and is living with his wife and their 4 youngest children from different relationships: Practicing yoga has helped me to improve my relationships. Just the fact that I feel this calming sense of peace each day when I practice it, helps me to manage all my complex relationships with minimum stress. My first wife realizes how calm I’ve become and I have been able to introduce yoga to her as well as to my current wife. It’s a win all-round. A sensitive relaxed mind is the best thing I can recommend to others re yoga.
Max, 54, is recuperating from a major motor vehicle accident: I was in quite a bad car crash about 7 months ago and I have suffered recurring pain particularly in my neck and lower back. At the hospital, a very kind care worker introduced me to yoga as a way of managing my pain because I got really tired of painkillers. I’ve never liked taking medication at all and I think after the accident I was becoming too dependent on them. I still practice yoga now and it has certainly helped me to manage the pain.
All the yoga enthusiasts I have spoken to, attest that yoga is indeed amazing for anyone, any age who takes it up as a regular part of their self-care routine. Although yoga has a lot of health benefits, and helps with body, mind, and spirit, it is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice. In fact, it is highly recommended that one sees a trained medical doctor prior to starting yoga and also that one should only do yoga independently after being steered by a trained yoga teacher first.