Practicing yoga regularly generates physical benefits. Here we mention six of the most important.
There are so many benefits that yoga brings on a physical, mental and emotional level, that it is said that its habitual practice can change our lives. It is enough to spend ten minutes a day before going to bed to improve our sleep habits. In addition, as we practice for a longer time, we will reach a deep state of well-being and begin to notice the benefits that will serve as a stimulus to keep moving forward.
Little by little we will begin to be more aware not only of the body and the mind, but of their needs, which will help us to understand which are the asanas (postures) that come to us better in each moment.
Practicing yoga regularly is an excellent way to relieve the stress and tensions that we accumulate and that take their toll on both the physical and mental levels. Today we will focus on the physical benefits we can achieve:
Yoga teaches breathing correctly. The breathing known as abdominal or diaphragmatic, which in the inspiration begins in the abdomen to continue in the intercostal area and end in the clavicle, and in the expiration follows the path in reverse, increases the oxygenation of the cells. The asanas, combined with adequate breathing, improve blood circulation, which positively affects the brain, vital organs and limbs. Breathing deeply and at a leisurely pace balances the nervous system, slows the heart rate and relaxes the muscles.
Strengthens the immune system
Yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol, (the hormone related to stress); It is demonstrated that high levels of cortisol can cause mood swings, weight gain, high blood pressure, and sleep and digestive problems, among others. In addition, high levels of cortisol in the blood cause changes in the immune system. By directly influencing this hormone, the practice of yoga increases our resistance to diseases and infections.
One of the first positive changes that are perceived when starting to practice yoga is the increase in flexibility, very important because, among other things, it helps to avoid injuries. It is likely that at first the body is rigid, which is perceived more clearly in the twists, but, with perseverance, these positions are the best allies to increase flexibility. It is also important to increase little by little the time in which the asanas are kept. It is essential to take care of the diet, which should be rich in minerals such as sulfur and magnesium and in Omega 3 fats.
As flexibility increases, many of the muscle aches caused by stress and poor posture disappear.
To achieve balance in the postures, it is necessary to exercise is the consciousness about the body. Only with good alignment can an asana be maintained that requires a certain level of balance. When practicing yoga, it is important to maintain the concentration in the sensations that each posture produces, being present at all times, and making the corrections that are necessary to improve. As experience is gained, the body will learn how with a small adjustment balance can be regained in a posture. As the balance improves, so does our flexibility, as the joints benefit from this type of exercise.
Strengthens muscles and bones
Having a defined musculature not only improves the physical appearance, it also protects the bones, prevents injuries and prevents diseases such as arthritis; to make matters worse, by improving coordination, falls are reduced in older people. Yoga helps to strengthen muscles but, unlike the work of gymnastics, prevents the accumulation of lactic acid in the body, which causes fatigue and pain, and does not reduce the flexibility, so important for the practice of yoga.
As for the bones, it is shown that yoga helps to reinforce them and stop the loss of bone mass. In addition, it is essential to prevent injuries and fractures, especially in people with osteoporosis. With yoga you can improve your posture; In addition, it affects the health of the spine, by obtaining the discs that separate the vertebrae the necessary nutrients.
Balances the Nervous System
Finally, yoga stimulates relaxation, slows breathing and helps balance the autonomic nervous system, composed of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (SNP). Yoga activates the SNP, which favors relaxation, reducing heart rate and blood pressure, and facilitates recovery in stressful situations. One of the secrets of Yoga documented in numerous studies is that, by combining dynamic postures with relaxation, it is much more effective as a tool to combat stress than any relaxation exercise that is not accompanied by any other dynamic practice. In this way, it is also possible to maintain a balance in the nervous system.