Everyone has a different reason to give yoga a shot. Some join it for fitness, some for mental peace. Whatever may be your reason, yoga delivers more than you sign up for. The ancient practice that originated in India is making waves across the globe not without a reason. It offers innumerable physical and mental health benefits, more than you ever thought it would.
Yoga is not just a set of asanas, as it may appear initially. It is a way of life, the full benefits of which you can reap only after practicing it over the years and with dedication. As you begin your yogic journey, you will start to experience changes in your mind and body with each passing day. The regular practice of asanas will make your body more flexible and your mind more focused on perfecting each asana. Your coordination will improve as you work on getting the postures and the angles right.
Yoga also teaches you to breathe correctly. Before being introduced to yoga, you may have never thought focussing on your breathing can bring in a series of positive changes. When our breathing is right our stress levels come down. Yoga also helps manage anxiety and depression as it removes imbalances in the body and enhances pranic energy. It also improves your stamina and you don’t get tired easily even after a hectic day.
With time you will develop mindfulness that will go beyond your yoga classes. This newly formed mindfulness will reflect in your food choices, food portions, work quality, moods, and more. Your focus and concentration will improve, so will your time management skills that will help you wrap up your work in less time than before.
And this is just the beginning. As you move ahead in your yogic journey, the benefits will keep multiplying and amaze you with their almost miraculous impact on your overall well-being. Practicing yoga will help you connect with yourself better and even help find your life purpose.
Here are ten amazing things that can happen to your body and mind when you start practicing yoga:
1. Your Body Feels More Flexible, Active & Agile.
One of the first few changes that you will notice after regularly practicing yoga asanas is that your muscles and bones will start to become more flexible and you will be able to move your body more smoothly. Especially if before joining a yoga, you were leading a sedentary lifestyle, there are chances that your body had a lot of stiffness. But not anymore. Doing yoga makes your body feel light and more active.
You will be able to do physical activities with a lot more ease and quickly. Yoga also improves your stamina. You will be able to endure more and pack in a lot more in a day than is normally possible.
Better physical strength also means that you do not get injuries easily and can do a lot of running around which will keep you further fit. Yoga also improves your balance and coordination.
2.You start to lose weight.
Following a yogic way of life has many perks and weight loss is one of them. Eating satvik food at a fixed time will improve your metabolism and help you lose weight. Satvik food has lots of vegetables that have fiber. Fiber is known to eliminate toxins from the body and remove bad cholesterol. Eating the right food is the stepping stone in the process of losing weight and maintaining a healthy BMI.
Yoga asanas, in general, serve as an excellent way to work out and in a matter of few weeks, your body will be toned up. There are specific asanas that help reduce belly fat, fat from thighs and make your body fit and strong.
Apart from yoga poses, Pranayama help in weight reduction. When we are focussing on our breathing while doing pranayama, we tend to become more mindful over the period of time. This helps us in being more mindful of what we are consuming when we are consuming and how much we are consuming.
We no longer crave junk and unhealthy food as we begin to understand their harmful effect on our bodies. When we eat we pay attention to every bite and realize when we are full and do not eat extra. We are more mindful of our hunger pangs and eat accordingly while not falling prey to emotional eating which is a major cause behind weight gain in today’s times
3.You stop falling sick frequently and do not get chronic diseases
As you practice yoga every day for a longer period of time, your immunity increases, and your chances of catching infections come down. Several scientific studies have shown that yoga bolsters the immune system of the body and prepares it better to fight infections. Practicing yoga every day brings the stress levels down which goes a long way in avoiding chronic diseases.
Yoga also makes sure we follow a healthy lifestyle that reduces the risk of getting chronic diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac diseases among others. Yoga improves blood circulation and flow and can normalize blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate as well as manage blood sugar levels. Stress is the primary reason behind many chronic diseases and Yoga is known to reduce stress, anxiety and manage depression. Yoga can thus help improve your quality of life as well.
4. You will feel more confident, vibrant, and focused.
Yoga has a deep impact on the functioning of the mind. If you are doing yoga regularly you will notice that your mind is working more efficiently than before. You will be able to focus better and will have clarity of thought while doing tasks. The same tasks will take less time to complete after you start practicing yoga and will be done more effectively.
Yoga reduces stress significantly and without stress, you will have the freedom to think out of the box. You will be more creative and life will look more satisfying than before. When your senses are free from stress, you will feel more confident about what you are doing and presenting yourself in front of others. You will feel your memory function too is improving and you will be able to have a better time management system in place than before.
Yoga improves the flow of prana and helps improve your energy levels throughout the day. You will feel more alive and with fewer dull moments. In a nutshell, there will be brighter days than the sullen ones
5. Your anxiety levels will come down, depression will improve.
Yoga is helpful in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression-like difficulty in concentration, loss of energy, mood swings, etc. It helps calm the heart rate, and thereby sending the body and mind in a relaxed state with reduced stress levels. In depression, people have imbalances in the life force. Practicing pranayama helps to restore the required balance and improves the flow of prana which helps people with mental disorders. With regular breathing practice, the flow of oxygen improves in the body, as a result, internal organs perform better, and also enough oxygen reaches the brain releasing happy hormones.
Yoga is also known to improve the level of serotonin, a hormone that is missing in people with depression, which makes people happy. As you practice yoga every day, your mood swings improve significantly. Yoga helps people stay in the present moment which leads to contentment, happiness, and a general state of well-being.
6. You will sleep better (Yoga Nidra).
When you start doing yoga every day, you may find your sleep quality improves. If you have insomnia and other sleep disorders, with the practice of yoga, these problems too will show improvement. According to a scientific study, over 55% of yoga practitioners report improved sleep quality.
When you practice yoga regularly, the stretching while doing yoga asanas will have a positive impact on your muscles and nerves. When you have relaxed muscles, you will fall asleep much quicker. Yoga Nidra and other forms of yoga that focus on breathing also help our body fall asleep naturally. We not only sleep without disturbances but also deeper and for a healthier duration.
In Yoga Nidra, every part of the body is focussed upon and relaxed to induce deep sleep. Yoga is also helpful in correcting sleep disorders.
7. You will have more inner strength.
Yoga is a practice that will build resilience and strength in you over a period of time. Inner strength is built when one develops the mental discipline to achieve something. When you do asanas and try to ace them with correct angles and postures in a peaceful way, you are training your mind to endure better. You are likely to face a life situation calmly once you have this inner strength developed by yoga. There are specific yoga poses like Mountain pose, Warrior 1, Warrior 2 among others that help you develop inner strength while remaining peaceful inside.
8. You will have stronger joints.
When you do yoga regularly, you find a very effective form of exercise that will help make your bones and joints stronger and even help you manage a disease like arthritis. Many asanas help improve muscle strength and bone density while also reducing the risk of fractures and injuries. The muscles around your joints also become strong as you do regular yoga practice which also delays the onset of arthritis. A recent AIIMS study has regarded yoga as an adjunct therapy to manage arthritis. According to the study, yoga helps in reducing the levels of inflammatory cytokines in arthritis patients. The study noted that holistic treatments such as yoga significantly improve and reduce the psycho-somatic symptoms, pain perception, disability quotient, joint flexibility, range of motion, posture, muscle strength, coordination, and disease activity.
9. You will be able to deal with pain better.
Yoga helps in reducing pain caused by arthritis, migraine, back pain, and other types of chronic pain conditions. Yoga brings a balance in the body by improving its flexibility, building strength, improving bone health, protecting the spine, and improving postures, thus alleviating pain caused by various conditions. According to a study published in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, in people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition.
There is another study that shows yoga helps in reversing chronic pain. The study says that chronic pain can be prevented or reversed by following mind-body practices like yoga. Following such practices has been shown to reduce pain perception and offset the effects of age-related decreases in grey matter volume. Yoga appears to bulk up the grey matter through neurogenesis and strengthen white matter connectivity through neuroplasticity.
10. You will be happier than before.
Practicing yoga will kick off a series of changes in you that will slowly but steadily make you happier with each passing day. Happiness is our natural state which gets disrupted due to the stress and triggers of daily life.
As we understand our emotions and how our body reacts to them better, we take control of our life and no longer get affected by outside circumstances and people. Yoga teaches us to focus on our breathing which helps remove imbalances and release toxins. The release of stress improves the flow of happy hormones like serotonin, oxytocin etc.
Practicing deep breathing relaxation helps us connect with our inner self and generate positive emotions. With meditation and mindfulness, one can be aware of the triggers that can disrupt our peace of mind and learn to segregate the mental diet and waste. Meditation also helps us achieve a state of restful alertness that reduces stress levels and helps us feel rejuvenated.
Yoga mitigates negative emotions by helping to recognize them and helps us achieve a life full of positivity and happiness.
As you practice yoga every day, you will realize what you have been missing all your life. As you grow accustomed to leading a life of a yogi, you will reap more and more health benefits from the practice.