Yoga Benefits

Angela Kukhahn in 'eagle' pose a yoga asana on the beach in santa monica ak8 Reasons to Love Yoga!

Here is what yoga can do for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health

Yoga Benefit #1. Flexibility: Remember your toes? Isn’t it time you regained the ability touch them again? Not only does yoga feel good, it’s practical. Going through life with painful stiffness in the muscles causes a host of problems. It is never too late to regain vitality by stretching your body with yoga!

Yoga Benefit #2. Strength:Yoga finds were you are the weakest and strengthens it in a ‘whole body’ kind of way. Not only does yoga strengthen the larger muscles, it also strengthens the stabilizing muscles surrounding the major muscles. Yoga works to promote symmetry in the body. An imbalance in muscle strength is sometimes an overlooked cause of painful conditions such as Sciatica and lower back problems.

Yoga Benefit #3. Pain Prevention: As The Yoga Sutras so boldly states “Pain that has not yet happened is avoidable”. How you ask? Yoga of course!

There are many reasons this is true, but to approach it just from a purely physical standpoint yoga strengthens and stretches all the muscles of the body while supporting hormonal balance, glandular function and the work of the organs.

Yoga Benefit #4. Better Breathing: What could be more important than our breath? Without our breath we wouldn’t  last longer than a few short minutes. When we deepen our breath every cell in our body celebrates! Need I say more? It’s free and it will improve your life tremendously! Breathe!

Yoga Benefit #5. Mental Well-Being: Perhaps the most prevalent ailment of the modern world is the plague of being overworked, and overstimulated. We get lost in a fog. We lack clarity. We don’t know who we are, what we want, or where we are going,…but you’d better get the hell out of our way because we are running late!!!

Often times the simplest things are stressful because of the sheer plethora of decisions we must make . Under the weight of these pressures we begin to crumble. Then one day we wake up and realize that we’ve  lost our peace of mind, sense of self, and connection to our bodies. Yoga puts us back on the path. Yoga brings us home. It brings us back to a place where we can feel things again. We move past the numbness and disconnection and we remember who we really are.

Yoga Benefit #6. Peace of Mind: You are not your thoughts. The constant chatter of the mind will have you running in circles. In The Yoga Sutras the mind is said to be the chariot with the five senses as the horses wildly pulling at the reins. Yoga gives you the tools to sit in the driver’s seat of your chariot with confidence where in the past you might have allowed your emotions pull you in every direction.

Yoga Benefit #7. Stress Reduction: Yoga not only physically reduces the stress load put on your body but will also help to induce the bodies own ‘Relaxation Response’. For a lot of people being in a constant state of ‘Fight or Flight’ is a daily reality. Blood moves away from the organs and vital bodily functions when we are in a state of panic.Unfortunately, this leads to premature aging, a breakdown of the systems of the body, disease and ultimately death. However, our bodies renew themselves on a cellular level when we relax. More yoga, less stressing, it’s a no brainer!

Yoga Benefit #8. Body Awareness and Appreciation:  In our culture we may care about the way our bodies look, however most of us do not understand the mind/body connection. It is ludicrous to believe that we could support good health and stay disconnected from our bodies. This is even more obvious when there is an injury. A lot of times you will see a strong disconnection from the area of injury. Nothing could be more vital in terms of rehabilitation than connecting to the area of your body that needs your love and attention.

Yoga helps to create a deep connection and sense of your body. Yoga makes your comfortable in your own skin again, or maybe for the first time. It makes you feel complete. You start to realize that the body, mind, emotions, and spirit, have to connect for you to truly feel whole.

Wishing you the best of health!

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