Yoga has helped me get through some hard times in my life, whether it be a long day at work or even through a stressful pregnancy. I’ve gone through hot yoga that was hell at first to savasana poses that brought me a deeper form of peace. So for those who want to get into yoga but still need the extra push, here’s a list of benefits that extend more than weight loss and stress relief.
1. Provides instant happiness and contentment
While any form of exercise is known to increase serotonin levels, group exercises especially those like yoga have been known to increase oxytocin in the body, the hormone responsible for the feeling of love and acceptance. Yoga’s meditational and mindfulness qualities are also known to increase serotonin levels while providing a feeling of contentment.
2. Helps cope with depression and anxiety
In a fast-paced world, yoga allows one to let go and literally be in the moment. Mindful breathing in between poses helps calm the mind and body. Practicing yoga also lets you focus on the moment at hand which is the breath. The end pose called savasana rids the body of negative thoughts and lets you rest and become comfortable in the blankness of the mind after pushing your body.
3. Aids with sleep problems
Personally, doing a mild sequence before bed provides a more restful sleep. Once the body is calm and rid of thoughts that impede the mind from rest, you’re rewarded with a deep sleep that leaves you refreshed the next morning. Try a forward fold or simply lying on your back with your feet up on a wall.
4. Treats physical pain
This is especially true for those with chronic lower back problems from sitting in an office chair all day. Certain poses like the downward dog help stretch out the lower back and improve overall spinal flexibility. The same goes with the neck and shoulders as well which are also target pain points from being in front of a screen most of the time.
5. Improves memory
Yoga’s breathing facilitates meditation and again, mindfulness. Focusing on the “here and now” rids the mind of negative thoughts and the body of toxins. Reducing mental stress and relaxing the body gives a clearer mind and improved cognitive function for better recall and organized thoughts.
Join the Global Mala Project this Oct. 1 at the Blue Leaf Events Pavilion at McKinley Hill, Taguig from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. which will feature various traditional and non-traditional yoga classes for both kids and adults, drumming, capoeira, and health talks. This year will also introduce the Mindful Market, a green space for sustainable, organic, and natural products, businesses, and services.
All photos courtesy of Unsplash.com