Benefits of Yoga
There are many benefits of yoga - this practice, which is over 7000 years old, is one of the most practised forms of exercise in the world, and has helped millions of people feel better both physically and mentally.
For many people, Hatha yoga is their first glimpse of this amazing form of exercise. Hatha yoga is the most commonly practised form in the west, and combines Asanas (physical exercises and postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation, to offer a uniquely balanced approach to physical and mental health.
The benefits of yoga have been established over millennia, and can be realized by anyone who practices regularly. Benefits of yoga include:
- A low impact form of exercise
- Increased strength, stamina and balance
- Improved breath awareness, increased lung capacity and improved breathing patterns.
- Improving the health and function of internal organs
- Stress relief and greater relaxation
The beauty of it is that anyone can do it - it is popular with children, yet many elderly people also practice.
The poses, or Asanas, also support the development of the more spiritual aspects, teaching poise, balance and strength, all of which can help to improve the body's physical health, while simultaneously helping to clear the mind for meditation and greater enlightenment.
Although people focus less on the breathing techniques, the Pranayama, learning to breathe slowly and deeply is also highly beneficial. It can help:
- Teach you the proper way to breathe, using a full breath that increases the capacity of the lungs.
- Bring more oxygen to the body, helping to reduce toxins and body wastes. It thus has a role to play in disease prevention.
- Relaxation - the concentration and focus required for Pranayama relaxes the body and produces a peaceful state of mind.