5 Amazing Health Benefits of Daily Yoga

Yoga is adaptable so that it can suit all ages and abilities, and there are plenty of health benefits of daily yoga practice. Many people assume it’s a gentle activity to do – which can be, however it’s the most commonly underestimated exercise by those not in the know. It is entirely flexible (pardon the pun), and that means you can do a level of yoga, no matter what your age or ability is.

You can choose yoga workout sessions that really challenge you, and have you sweating off those calories, or you can do sessions that are relaxing and slow, more akin to mediation. You can also select sessions to suit the amount of time you have available to do them in. Yoga is what you make of it, you decide. It’s highly versatile so it can suit people of any age and ability; you don’t need to be a master Yogi to benefit from Yoga.

How often to practice Yoga

If you do yoga once a month, that may not be enough as your muscles will not be worked out regularly enough to be more flexible with each session, and this will have you starting from scratch each time.

The idea is to stretch the muscles to the level that you can achieve personally each time, tone and improve your connection with your whole body (yoga means union, union of mind and body).

Three of four times a week is a good medium, or if you can do half an hour a day, that’s perfect. If you are someone who is really pushed for time, then a ten minute yoga routine on the mat each day, morning or evening, will mean that you will start to see the benefits.

Health benefits of daily yoga

Here’s the 5 amazing health benefits of daily yoga:

1. Looks after you as you approach old age

Yoga keeps our organs functioning well as we move the body around in poses, it helps with circulation, keeps blood pressure low and our joints supple. It also helps with our core strength and balance. With many elderly people being admitted to A&E due to falls, keeping up yoga throughout life will help you to prevent this. It’s also never too late to start as many older people are taking up the practice to improve their balance and coordination.

2. Great for mental health

Yoga is used as part of holistic treatment in many mental health illnesses, but not as much as it could be. If you have depression, stress, anxiety or any mental health disorder, yoga can help you. It helps to connect mind with body which can help you when you are feeling chaotic and stressed, and even reduce the frequency of feeling that way.

Exercise helps us to produce endorphins which make us happy.  You can incorporate gratitude and meditation into your work out, spend a few moments on the mat after a work out just being you, taking that time to just be. This, even if for a few moments will make a difference to your well being.

3. Daily yoga reduces likelihood of illness

Yoga practice will improve your immune function, reduce inflammation, as well as reducing the risks of health issues, like osteoporosis, and all sorts of other diseases. Check it out for yourself on Google, there’s a vast range of health conditions that yoga can reduce the risk of.

4. Keeps away the fat and helps you to eat better

A daily work out will gradually stop you from eating more than you need, you will also make better choices as your body will have a better communication line to your mind – many people who workout find that they eat more for their body than for their emotions. You will feel your body telling you what it wants and make better choices. The additional benefits is that you will have healthier hair and skin too.

Health benefits of daily yoga

5. Improves posture, core strength and self awareness

You will gain a really good core strength with regular practice, this means that you will have less back and shoulder problems. Back problems are common and can have a huge affect on the quality of your life, especially as you age. You will notice that you will be more aware of your posture and with time, it will be second nature to hold yourself with more balance and alignment. Your increased self awareness will mean you are less likely to cause yourself a muscle or back injury.

What do I need to get started?

Find yoga classes

You can follow classes from YouTube, such as the classes by Adriene, and follow her YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriene. She is a wonderful teacher; she talks through her classes acknowledging both beginners and advanced, as well as classes for people with specific health conditions. She also knows where you might be going ‘wrong’ and advises you through the class – for example, she knows you might be putting too much weight on your hands in a pose, and mentions it. You can adjust yourself and it feels a whole lot better. There are many other teachers on YouTube so you might want to try a few until you find one that you feel connected with.

Here is Adrienne with a ten minute sun salutation workout for you to try:

Alternatively, you could recruit yourself a personal yoga instructor, this can  help you if you struggle with the discipline to get yourself on the mat each day, or you have a health condition and would feel more confident with someone being there on hand to help should you need it.

There may be local classes and private teachers in your area:

Equipment

You will need a yoga mat. You can get a mat on its own, or one that comes in a bag with shoulder strap, this is handy if you fancy doing some yoga in the park or on the beach in summer. And, if you are a daily yoga person, it means you can take it on your travels.

If you currently have little flexibility, you can get a couple of yoga blocks, these help with making you more comfortable and reaching pose stretches that can be more difficult but are highly beneficial.

A yoga blanket is nice to use to make some poses more comfortable and then you can hold the pose for longer. You can also use the blanket for when you finish and in resting and meditating stage, it stops you from getting cold after the workout. A nice heavy weave blanket does the trick.

Clothing

You can get away with jogging bottoms, leggings, harem pants, anything that is loose and allows for movement. Also a light sports bra for the ladies – you can get specific yoga ones.

Setting the scene

You might want to get an oil diffuser, or incense for when you practice, especially if you are doing it to release stress. The nice smells can be really invigorating. Also, choose a nice place in your home or garden to practice. If you don’t have a view then you may want to practice in front of a picture of some calming scenery.

Mindset

Lastly and most importantly, whether you have equipment or not, you can do yoga. Have an open and positive mind, believe you can control your body, and don’t push yourself too much, remember to breathe and remember that yoga is a developing skill, the more you stretch, the more you will be able to stretch. Be loving and patient with yourself and enjoy it.

Namaste!

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