Whether we consider it a physical practice or a life philosophy in its own right, yoga brings a multitude of benefits to those who have brought it into their lives. What are the benefits of yoga? From the most to the least obvious, I offer you today a reflection on this subject.
The benefits of yoga are many. I would even say that they are yours. We all need to awaken, repair or feel something through yoga. Things that belong to us. So, putting your feet on your mat is taking the risk of looking within yourself and dealing with what you find there. Are you ready?
Then here's a personal list of the best things I've learned from yoga and the benefits you can get from it.
Benefits of yoga: more awareness of your body
In our western world, we often live disconnected from our bodies. It is sometimes a simple inert envelope, which helps us to get through life. Apart from our annual dental appointment, times when it seems good to feed and wash it, we generally pay very little attention to our body.
What if we took a moment to realize how capable it is? How alive it is? "Do good to your body to make your soul want to stay there. Ayurvedic Quote
Yoga allows us to look inside our body. This is going to sound strange to you, and you may wonder what it means. For some, it will mean taming it. For example, prenatal yoga teaches moms-to-be how to re-invest their bodies, which they share, in cohabitation, with their baby for 9 months. This new relationship with oneself is one of the wonderful benefits of yoga.
Perform movements as slowly as possible, paying attention to every part of the body. This is a rare opportunity in our lives at a thousand miles an hour. And yet, it allows us to finally consider certain parts of ourselves. After all these years following you, without flinching, don't they deserve even a glance?
Loving your body
Also, chaining the postures together allows you to create gratitude. Yoga helps you to be satisfied with what your body is capable of. Perhaps even on your yoga mat, standing up will be considered a remarkable opportunity.
Instead of bitching about your belly being too soft and your arms not being toned enough, yoga invites you to develop a new relationship with that wrap. It helps you focus your attention on what makes you proud. Proud of yourself. Proud of your body.
Little by little, you're reconnecting with the parts of yourself that you love less. Pamper this body, because it is the most important part of who you are, or at least the most visible part. This is what yoga teaches you.
When you step on your mat, many times you will ask yourself, "How is my body today? How is my breathing this morning? Do I feel any pain? ». After all these years of abusing it, sometimes even insulting it, yoga whispers to you that it's time to make peace with your body.
Mobilizing consciously, every part, every muscle will do you a lot of good. And you will develop a new relationship with yourself and with it. For me, this is one of the most life-saving benefits of yoga.
You reduce your stress by practicing yoga
Stress reduction is one of the best known benefits of yoga. But what does it really mean?
Through the soothing setting it offers, the bubble of silence it provides and the learning of emptiness in your thoughts, yoga will help you to get away from the stress in your daily life.
Yes, yoga allows you to forget, for a moment, all the things you should be doing outside. All those that will soon have to be satisfied. This, to focus on yourself and on that moment. Yoga allows you to give yourself a moment to yourself, a moment where you put yourself first. Is it selfish or necessary? I don't know... Do you have many moments in your life where nothing matters more than yourself?
Moreover, in the long run, yoga will teach you to review your priorities and make choices for your well-being. How much respect do you have for yourself every day? Personally, my daily yoga hour is never taken off my schedule. It is my priority. In addition, over the years, yoga has taught me to understand what events, relationships and collaborations are truly beneficial to me. Another opportunity to free myself from daily stress.
The Benefits of Yoga: Fewer Negative Emotions
While I had been practicing from time to time for a long time, I decided to practice yoga on a more regular basis when I was faced with grief. It seemed natural to me at the time. I was sure that this choice would be beneficial to me in dealing with my emotions.
Today, I can say that yoga can help you through a difficult time. I have experienced it myself. Through its philosophy, it allows you to look at life in a different way. It helps you to cultivate inner joy. You will sometimes be invited to dance, smile or laugh during your sessions. And what a pleasure it is to let yourself go.
Finally, on your mat, your emotions will sometimes jostle, and that's normal. In yoga, we mobilize certain parts of the body for a long time locked together. Areas that contained knots of emotions and energy. One day, you have to let them go. You have to allow this flow to come out and move forward.
Seeing him practice yoga regularly will also help you to be calmer, less on edge, less angry... This is personally one of the benefits of yoga that I prefer.
Yoga, good for your back and joints
You have certainly already seen a picture of a particularly old Indian yogi, capable of impressive flexibility. Cultivating such vitality at such an age seems almost unreal through our European eyes.
Indeed, our sedentary life leads us to use our body less and less. Today, we go from bed to chair, from the seat of our car to the armchair, and end the day, facing our screen, on our sofa.
In this way, we considerably limit the use of certain muscles. So you will be surprised to discover? that elsewhere in the world, people of all ages can eat while squatting on the floor. Often, their activities push them to perform gestures that mobilize their entire body. Is this still possible at home? Yes, but it is rare, especially after the age of 50.
However, your body is made to move. The energy that flows through you is made to circulate freely. With yoga, you can therefore relax your muscles after a day spent in the same position. Facing a screen, standing still or driving your car.
Fluidity in your movements
If you start your yoga class feeling like you're in a vise, the postures will gradually allow you to increase your body's potential, to go where you never go. With time, moving in all directions as soon as you wake up or at the slightest break will become a ritual.
Moreover, yoga is good for your spine, so precious at any age. In fact, various postures help you strengthen your back muscles. Also, yoga will help you develop your flexibility and work all your muscles in depth. It is a very complete activity for a healthy body. You'll notice that your chronic pain will subside with practice. Soon, your testimony about your pain will magically disappear and you will be able to add to the thousands of others already collected on this subject. This is why yoga can be practiced at any age and up to any age.
Benefits of yoga: it improves concentration
Every day, we waver our attention between our plate and the television, between our steps and our telephone screen. It becomes difficult to fully focus our attention on something in our daily life. We are constantly spreading ourselves too thin. However, yoga reverses this tendency. Some postures, such as balance, will require you to focus your attention on a single point. By focusing on something in this way, you will develop your concentration and then be more easily present to what you are doing.
Multitasking is actually very detrimental to our productivity. By doing a little bit of everything, it seems that we are actually doing nothing really well. What if it wastes time instead of gaining time? When you're in Warrior III's position, you'll have to focus on one thing to avoid falling. If your gaze wanders or your attention flees, you fall. Thus, you understand little by little, to what extent your mind is made to focus on one thing at a time. This is the best way to perform. So yoga is a wonderful guide to develop your concentration.
Benefits of Yoga: Yoga Helps to Live a Positive Life
Practicing the Asanas has many benefits on our body but also on our mind... Today, I deeply believe that yoga can change our way of seeing life. For example, the practice of difficult postures allows us to test our will. "It's not difficult forever". My yoga teacher has often repeated this phrase to me and it has become my mantra today. It helps me to persevere through the trials and tribulations and to see things through to the end. On and off the mat, this phrase helps me find the courage to surpass myself.
Moreover, in yoga, we learn to respect our limits and our body. If flexibility is not there, if the body doesn't want to go further, you don't force yourself in the posture. On the contrary, we will stop, identify this limit and integrate it.
Yoga also makes it possible to value humility. More complicated levels will be proposed for certain postures. And you may not be able to test them. Likewise, you may spend months or years practicing Ashtanga Series I. But yoga teaches you that it's the path that counts, not the goal. It allows you to be indulgent with yourself and to calm that inner fire that wants to see you always further. One of the most magical benefits of yoga.
By practicing the different balances, you will also be able to test your reaction to fear. How about jumping now? Can you go further? What if you were able to go beyond your ideas about yourself? Yoga will give you confidence many times over. It has taught me not to announce myself mechanically as "incapable of" anymore, but invites me to try. It's so right in the end... It would be so sad to lock oneself into a label ("not flexible", "not capable") when we are beings capable of constantly evolving.
Benefits of yoga: it helps to fight insomnia
Yoga allows you to let go of your daily concerns. At nightfall, you will have less ruminations that prevent you from sinking into the arms of Morpheus. In addition, its effects on stress reduction are also beneficial to develop a better sleep.
But the practice is not limited to postures. Some breathing exercises help to actively fight insomnia. For example, the bee's breathing invites you to form a bubble around you. An ideal exercise to calm the mind. Likewise, relaxation at the end of the session will allow you to relax for a long time before going to bed.
Finally, some very physical practices such as Ashtanga also have benefits. They will allow you to release hormones that facilitate falling asleep. In any case, you will sleep much better after a yoga session.
Benefits of yoga: it strengthens the whole system
Yoga is a holistic practice. It makes it possible to work all the muscles and systems (hormonal, digestive). For example, through twisting exercises, yoga provokes light massages of the internal organs that help digestion. It also helps to mobilize areas of the body that are never stretched, allowing for a complete release of tension. Similarly, some postures that open the heart (such as camel) activate the thyroid gland, which can have many positive effects on the hormonal system. Finally, the practice of yoga helps to strengthen the immune system, especially through pranayama exercises that lead to the renewal of blood circulation.
Benefits of yoga: Does yoga make you lose weight?
Of course, yoga is not a magic recipe for weight loss. Nevertheless, it is a good way to include physical activity in your week. As a complement to healthy dietary habits, it necessarily allows you to burn a few calories and thus lose weight. In addition, certain postures allow you to work the abdominal strap and may be beneficial for people who wish to firm up their belly.
Also, it allows a work on the mind and this is perhaps the most important. On the one hand, it strengthens the will to allow you to crack less or to adopt new habits more easily.
On the other hand, it reduces stress and builds self-confidence, which helps you feel better about yourself overall. Therefore, it can be a good help to limit emotional eating. Finally, some breathing and inversion exercises improve blood circulation, water retention and help digestion, elements that can also lead to weight loss.
However, if you get on your mat to try to lose those few extra pounds, you may instead learn to live better with them and tame your body the way it is.
You now know some of the benefits of yoga that I have seen in my various years of practice. Namasté.