As you all know I am a huge fan of yoga. I have been practicing yoga for 7 years and have enjoyed it's benefits. I hope this list of benefits will encourage all of you to add it to your fitness routine!
The physiological benefits of yoga include:
- pulse rate
- respiratory and blood pressure function
- it can contribute to stabilizing the nervous system
- normalizes gastrointestinal functions and endocrine (hormonal) function
- increases the joint's range of motion
- increases endurance level
- boosts energy
- increases immunity to diseases
- increases cardiovascular efficiency
- improves skills like eye-hand coordination
- better reaction time
- depth perception
- improvements in sleep
There are also biochemical benefits of yoga, like substantial decreases of glucose, sodium, cholesterol, and total white blood cells; and remarkable increases of vitamin C, total serum protein, hemoglobin.
Also, various studies revealed that yoga exercises are extremely effective when it comes to increasing the level of joint flexibility as well as the lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons. Another interesting aspect has to do with the fact that yoga is one of the very few techniques, which contributes to 'massaging' all the internal organs and glands- including the ones that are hardly ever stimulated during the lifetime of a person, such as the prostate. This stimulation and massaging of the internal organs proves to be beneficial when it comes to preventing diseases.
Yoga also facilitates in the detoxification of your body. When stretching the muscles and performing a thorough 'organ massage', the nature of the yoga exercises encourages the flow of blood. As a consequence, metabolic by-products and environmental agents are eliminated from your body and certain undesired processes, such as aging, are delayed. Now wouldn't we all enjoy that benefit the most?!
One of my favorite instructors is Eoin Finn. He has several DVD's available and I am drawn to his cheery, but not annoying personality. I also like Patricia Moreno and Shiva Rea. Just recently I found a fabulous site, yogatoday.com, where you can download individual practices for around $3.99 each or you can get an unlimited amount of streaming video for $9.99/month. There are quite a few practices that run about an hour long and are perfect for whatever ails you. From lower back focus, to breathing, to shoulders, it's all there. I hope you all take these words to heart and start a yoga practice today!!
How many of you practice yoga on a regular basis?