Even though its popularity has been more prevalent in recent years, yoga is an Indian practice that dates back 5000 years. From searing heat to puppies, it’s tough to find a variation of yoga that hasn’t been explored in 2020. Whether you’re a novice or yet to dip your toe in, take a scroll through the amazing health benefits of yoga below and get acquainted with the ancient tradition.
The most popular reason to invest in your yoga mat is for the wellbeing benefits, both mental and physical. In yoga, your breathing is just as important as the poses. Every yoga class starts by focusing on breathing and going through your body to find where tension is being held. Having time to stop and connect with your body isn’t something we often get to do in the modern world and doing so aids mental and physical wellbeing. Check out the 5 trends set to define the health and wellbeing world in 2020.
Although you don’t incorporate weights into yoga (yet, anyway) it is still a great way to improve your strength. It helps strengthen the muscles around joints such as the knees and ankles making it an easy, low impact way to aid those with joint problems.
Arthritis sufferers can reap the benefits of yoga too. Be sure to check with your doctor or physio to check if there are poses you should avoid but, generally, by strengthening the muscles around the joints, you can keep on top of any arthritic pain.
Balance and flexibility can also be improved with yoga. As we get older, our balance can be thrown off making us more likely to suffer a fall. Yoga helps to centre the body and makes you more aware of your muscles, particularly your core which is where your balance is derived from. Flexibility might not be top of your list of things to improve on but everyone wants to be able to tie their shoes without pulling a hamstring so it’s always a welcome benefit.
Yoga has a multitude of health benefits particularly when it comes to heart health. According to studies, the low impact and calming nature of the practice has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Although yoga isn’t strenuous enough to count towards the 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week that is recommended to us by the NHS, there are plenty of moderate physical exercises that are beneficial to heart health such as a brisk walk, cycling, hiking and dancing.
The best thing about yoga is the fact that it can be done by anyone, at any age, at any level of fitness. There is never a wrong time to take up yoga, whether you’re 8 or 80, the benefits are there to be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you want to focus on wellness and relaxation through Sivananda yoga, strength and flexibility or want something a bit more energetic like in Ashtanga vinyasa – there will be a yoga style that fits your needs.