10 Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga has a long rich history and can be traced back over 5,000 years and some say 10,000 years. Yoga now has millions of people learning the benefits of yoga and meditation.
You know that yoga and meditation are known to have general health and wellbeing benefits but what specifically are they? Perhaps you are hesitant to start practicing yoga and meditation. Keep reading to learn why you should start.
Here are 10 benefits of yoga and meditation.
1. Get Flexible
The basic movements and positions you learn in yoga will begin to stretch and bend you in ways you may find difficult. Very soon you will loosen up and become more flexible. The initial aches and pains of newly stretched muscles and ligaments will pass.
You will be able to get into positions you thought impossible. You will get better alignment in your hips and knees. Back pain caused by improper alignment will ease.
2. Get Stronger Muscles and Bone
Strength in yoga doesn’t come from lifting heavy weights. Many poses in yoga involve you lifting your own body weight. This builds muscle strength.
Osteoporosis is a common condition. Bone mass reduces after 35 years of age, especially in women. The result can be susceptibility to fractures.
Weight-bearing exercise such as yoga is known to build bone density and reduce the effects of osteoporosis.
3. Get Happy
Regular yoga and meditation practice make you happier. It’s scientifically proven. Dr. Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin tells us that meditation can strengthen the left prefrontal cortex of the brain and this makes you feel happy.
Repeated yoga practice increases serotonin levels. Seratonin helps the brain to regulate mood and feelings of well-being. In short, yoga and meditation make you happy.
4. Get Some Sleep
The relaxing effect of yoga and meditation calms and quietens the body and brain. This relaxation is restful in itself. A further benefit is this relaxation promotes better sleep.
Sleep itself has important benefits too. Being less tired means you perform better at work, childcare and in relationships. You are less likely to have accidents or make mistakes.
5. Get Fewer Digestive Problems
The stress relieving benefits of yoga and meditation can have an impact on IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and other problems of the gut. Yoga exercise helps the movement of food through your bowels. Meditation induces deep relaxation.
Symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, constipation and diarrhea are experienced by IBS sufferers. Although the causes are unclear there may be an association with stress. The benefits of yoga and meditation to IBS sufferers are both physical and psychological.
6. Build Great Relationships
One little-considered benefits of yoga and meditation are what they do for your relationships. Attending a class and learning together with others is a bonding experience. The physical, intellectual and emotional learning involves shared growth.
The friendships you can make in yoga and meditation class can be very supportive. Regular yoga and meditation practice can develop compassion too. This positive emotion is good for your relationships outside of the yoga and meditation class.
7. Get Good Karma
Karma yoga is a yoga tradition of care for others. If you pursue this philosophy you may discover that your caring for others has good health benefits for you too.
Caring for others gives meaning to your life. Directing your attention towards others rather than being self-absorbed is useful for people suffering from mild depression. There is evidence that people who do voluntary work, even as little as an hour a week, live longer than those who don’t.
8. Get a Breath
Breathing seems such a natural, not to say a necessary thing. It’s hard to imagine how powerful breathing better can be one of the benefits of yoga and meditation.
Learning to breath better is incorporate it into yoga movement and positions. Breathing is used in meditation too. Combined with chanting, especially in groups, this can be a strong physical and even emotional experience. The resonance of some chants can help clear the sinuses too.
9. Get Off Drugs
The health benefits of meditation and yoga mean that you will be in less need of prescription drugs. As yoga and meditation can help with illnesses of the respiratory system, people with asthma may find they need less medication. Reduced anxiety can reduce blood pressure and, as such, reduce the need for blood pressure drugs.
The natural and beneficial high associated with the exercise of all types is a healthy alternative to recreational drugs. The philosophy of yoga and meditation may well lead you to be more concerned about the substances you put into your body. Smoking, alcohol and even meat are easier to reject when you are pursuing a healthy physical and psychological life.
10. Get Peace
Modern life can be so busy. If you have work pressure this can impact on personal relationships. Looking after a family is physically and emotionally demanding.
Even your social life can have its downside. You may have friends who make demands on you. Your love life may be chaotic or unsatisfying.
Even when you are having a good time, this can be tiring. Yoga and meditation give you a quiet place to go to. This quiet place can be in the class or just when you practice alone.
Slow down the pace of life with quiet contemplation. Reduce stress with gentle stretches and exercise. Be at peace with yourself and the world.
Quietening the mind and easing the body allows you a break from the noise and demands of the world. A daily habit of yoga and meditation practice can give you the strength to cope with the most demanding of professional, family and social lives.
Enjoy the Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can be a huge plus in your life. Mastering yoga exercises and position and learning how to meditation is an absorbing interest. Sharing this with other people in a class is a fun thing to do.
The benefits are huge. Life will be so much better with yoga and meditation.
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