Benefits of Doing Yoga

Yoga’s one of those things that seems to have been around for ages, but is really gaining popularity now. There’s all different types of yoga, from Bikram through to some other types I can’t even pronounce. There’s ying yoga, yang yoga and everything between. Our society is changing, we’ve gone from small communities to massive cities. We travel large distances, we’re always connected to our phones and we spend the majority of our days sitting on our bum working. I’m not really going to discuss the pros and cons to this dramatic change in lifestyle (and trust me, there are many), but I want to focus on why there are so many benefits to doing yoga, especially because of the way we live:

1) You’ll move your body
If you timed how much of your day your body was basically motionless, well chances are you’d be a bit shocked. Think about how many hours you spend sleeping each night? Is it 7, 8, or even 9 hours? Factor in any time you spend in the evening reading, watching TV and sitting to eat dinner. Then you’ll need to add in any time you spend commuting, so sitting on a bus, in a car or on a train. Then, if you’ve got a job where you’re at a desk all day, you’ll need to add those in too. What you’re left with is your time that you’re active each day and for some of us it might be a really tiny amount. Yoga gets you moving, your blood flowing and your heart rate up.

2) It’s a low impact activity
My partner currently has a hamstring injury, so he’s had to cut back on what he can do in terms of exercise. Because yoga is low impact, and focused around only your own body weight, it is possible to do it when you are trying to build up strength, are pregnant or are injured. This makes it a great, low risk activity which is something you can incorporate into your life for a long time.

3) You’ll get some quiet time
In our busy lives, we rarely leave any time to be quiet, still and to reflect. One of my favourite parts of yoga is actually at the end when you lay down, close your eyes and listen to either the teacher speak, or the sound of peaceful music. If I didn’t go to yoga, I’d never set any time aside for this quiet meditation but I can tell it makes a world of difference to my health and wellbeing, so I really enjoy it.

4) You’ll gain flexibility and strength
Yoga wont make you buff, but it will give you some more strength and it will certainly improve you’re flexibility. You’ll become much more in tune with your body, understanding your own strengths and weaknesses. I always feel way more flexible after doing yoga and I think the benefits cross over into all areas of my life; my neck isn’t so stiff after I’ve done yoga and I feel that my posture improves considerably. These benefits will positively affect all areas of your life, even at times without you realising.

I have been doing yoga for just over one year now and have really enjoyed the changes to my body, mind and stress levels. If you’ve been thinking about doing yoga for a while now – take the plunge and try it out.