There are several benefits of practicing Yoga. As an Australian Swimwear designer I have had many ups and downs over the years financially and emotionally. Yoga has really helped me become mentally and physically stronger as well as reduced my anxiety in a huge way.
Being in an industry where social media is extremely prevalent, even I personally struggle with my well-being. I have chosen an industry that leads the way in which young women think they should look and feel. I see this as a huge responsibility and strive to make a change within the fashion industry. I want to make women feel empowered, strong and confident. With this, comes opening up to my own insecurities and sharing with others in my journey. Through our Charlie Mae Swimwear blog, I will continue to share parts of my journey, lessons learned and tips on living a well and healthy life.
If you haven't already feel free to download our free ebook all about self love and body confidence.
The following list is just a few of the many yoga benefits:
- Reduced stress
- Sound sleep
- Reduced cortisol levels
- Improvement of many medical conditions
- Allergy and asthma symptom relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Smoking cessation help
- Lower heart rate
- Spiritual growth
- Sense of well-being
- Reduced anxiety and muscle tension
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Slowed aging process
Below I've shared in detail 6 benefits of practicing yoga in your daily or weekly routine.
1. Yoga decreases stress
Yoga combines several techniques used for stress reduction, it can provide the combined benefits of breathing exercises, stretching exercises, fitness programs, meditation practice, and guided imagery, in one technique.
However, for those with great physical limitations, simple breathing exercises, meditation, or guided imagery might be a preferable option and provide similar benefits. Yoga also requires more effort and commitment than taking pills or herbs for stress reduction.
2. Yoga relieves anxiety
Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. This is calming and restorative as it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs. It teaches you to focus on the present moment rather than the worries of the future.
3. Yoga improves flexibility and balance
Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga. During your first class, you probably won't be able to touch your toes, never mind do a backbend. But if you stick with it you'll notice a gradual loosening, and at some point, seemingly impossible poses will become possible. You'll also probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear. That's no coincidence. Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones.
Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissue, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture. When you feel more flexible, you will feel stronger more able and willing to do things you may not have done before!
4. Yoga increases strength
Strong muscles do more than look good. They also protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain, and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga, you balance it with flexibility. If you just went to the gym and lifted weights, you might build strength at the expense of flexibility.
5. Yoga makes you happier
Feeling sad? Sit in Lotus. Better yet, rise up into a backbend or soar royally into King Dancer Pose. While it's not as simple as that, one study found that a consistent yoga practice improved depression and led to a significant increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in the levels of monoamine oxidase (an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters) and cortisol.
6. Yoga builds awareness for transformation
Yoga and meditation build awareness. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of destructive emotions like anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks as are smoking, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol.
Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and also by calming the nervous system and the mind. It increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain steady in the face of bad news or unsettling events.
The benefits of yoga are endless! Be sure to try it and don't procrastinate! Just do it. You'll thank me later!
Founder of Charlie Mae Swimwear