Whether you’re an experienced yogi or are just starting with your practice, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed some of the health and wellness benefits of yoga.
Perhaps you’re sleeping better or feeling stronger or are just more relaxed and at ease in your daily life. Whatever the case may be, you know that something good is happening to your body–even though you may not be linking it to your practice quite yet.
To help you better understand the benefits of yoga, we have looked at the many ways your practice can heal the mind, body, and spirit. We included also links to scientific studies backing these claims.
Curious? Read on to find out the benefits of yoga on the mind, body, and spirit.
The Benefits Of Yoga On The Mind
In recent years, scientific research has proven what ancient yogis knew centuries ago: that the mental benefits of yoga are infinite.
On a very basic level, people have known for years that yoga helps quiet the mind. By helping you focus on your breath and movements, it lowers the volume of the endless chatter in your brain during your practice and also helps increase focus and attention throughout the remainder of your day.
While these things are incredibly beneficial, scientists have recently proven that the mental benefits of yoga go beyond what was originally believed. According to studies reviewed by Harvard Medical School, practicing yoga helps reduce the symptoms associated with major mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The scientists discovered that a consistent practice of yoga helps reduce the quantity of cortisol – a hormone linked to stress and depression – in the body. What the researchers discovered was in fact astounding: that doing yoga could help people relieve stress and handle stressful situations in a much more positive way.
The Benefits Of Yoga On The Body
In addition to discovering the mental benefits of yoga, scientists around the world have also spent time researching the physical benefits associated with a consistent practice.
What they found out is something that yogis have known for a long time: that Yoga movements and asanas help the body develop strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as improve respiration, energy, circulation and cardiovascular health.
Based on this research, doctors, kinesiologists and physical therapists around the world recommend yoga as a way to ease into physical activity after an injury, and as a way to sustain physical stamina for people of all ages.
In addition to these benefits of yoga, researchers have also discovered that yoga postures can have some unsuspected benefits on our metabolism allowing one to improve body definition, and help with weight loss. And if that weren’t enough, symptoms of asthma, insomnia, chronic pain, and muscular tension are greatly improved with a regular practice allowing for enhanced daily function as well as better sleep at night.
The Benefits Of Yoga On The Spirit
The way the benefits of yoga on our spiritual wellbeing is a very individual process and is much harder to quantify for scientists.
While some efforts have gone into quantifying this impact, we must rely on anecdotal evidence provided by yogis to claim these benefits. According to this anecdotal evidence, yoga’s spiritual benefits are tied to the way it makes people feel a “happier life ‘in the moment'” while also allowing them to feel more connected to others.
In this respect, communal practice is said to have the biggest spiritual benefits for yogis. It allows people to exchange energy in a shared space, teaching them how to build our awareness of others and themselves, generally allowing them to feel part of a greater whole.
Start A Yoga Practice
The great thing about yoga is that you can start your practice at any time!
Not sure how? Try out this super short introductory video as you sit in your office. It will run through a minute long routine of basic poses that you can do right now (YES, RIGHT NOW!) to begin unlocking the healing potentials of yoga.
If you like what you see, consider setting some time aside every week to deepen your practice. You can check out routines on YouTube, download an app, or join a class in a studio or community centre near you!
Stretch your Mind, Body, and Spirit further with a Yoga Retreat in Southern India
If you want to unlock the full curative potential of yoga, join Naturopathic Physician, Yoga and Pilates teacher, and Energy Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Alexina Mehta for a restorative and replenishing 5 nights at the world-renowned Ayurvedagram.
The retreat offers a full immersion into the world of yoga and Ayurveda. As you take a deep dive into this world, Dr. Alexina will guide you through the teachings and initiations for your own internal transformation, giving you the tools to make this a truly life-changing experience.
Find out more about this magical retreat, which runs from March 7-12, by clicking here.