Benefits of Yoga

Even the briefest of yoga sessions can restore your inner calm and tranquility which many of us find helpful to offset our hectic lifestyles. Longer yoga sessions can also improve agility and strength. Slowing down and including a yoga session in our schedules is proving to be extremely worthwhile for many Australians.

Increasing numbers of people are discovering yoga’s many benefits with #yoga generating over 64M posts on Instagram. As an ancient practice, yoga has moved into the mainstream as the mental and physical benefits become clear to the public.

The best thing about yoga is that it is suitable for everyone – young and old. With so many different varieties of yoga, you are sure to find one that you like: Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Bikram yoga, amongst others. Here are just a few of the many benefits that yoga can provide.

Improve your health

Yoga makes a perfect segue into a healthier lifestyle for those wanting to improve their health.

Achieving a limber body makes life so much easier. Limber bodies move better because movements are not restricted by tightness in the body. Tightness can build in your body from a lack of movement or flexibility. Sitting at a desk all day long or standing in one spot for long periods doesn’t help. During any yoga practice, the emphasis is on building a strong core as well as breath control, and these will gradually improve your posture by developing your body awareness – freeing you to move better. Yoga can also lower your blood pressure by allowing deep relaxation in the body to occur.

Develop the mind and body connection

During a typical yoga class, you can expect the teacher to use many action verbs, these help students engage the mind-body connection we so often seek. Think of phrases like ‘press your feet into the ground’ and ‘spread your fingertips wide’. These ‘doing’ words help nix concentration problems by firmly putting you in the present moment and stop your mind from trailing off. Action verbs force your mind to concentrate on the yoga postures, which in turn help activate the mind-body connection. Over time, you start to build greater body awareness ーhelping you recognise tension in your body. In this way, you can nip stress symptoms in the bud when they start to creep up on you because recognising them will be easier.

Complement your existing exercise routine

Muscle tightness can come about from either inactivity (hello desk job) as well as from activity. Long sessions in the gym working out with weights or even your regular running routine can leave muscles feeling tight. Over time muscle tightness can lead to injuries that nobody wants. Adding yoga to your routine can offer the perfect recovery tool to enhance your prefered sport. As well, more science-backed research is linking yoga to improved sporting benefits. So think of yoga as your perfect long-term injury-prevention strategy to balance your fitness routine.

Whilst not all PCYC clubs offer yoga just yet, there are plenty of other activities; such as martial arts, archery, gymnastics, and even boxing available, contact your local club to find out what is on offer in your neighbourhood.