Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ten Amazing Benefits of Yoga

There is no one who can't benefit from yoga. What follows are ten benefits of practicing yoga and why you should give it a try!

1. Within the body, someone who regularly practices yoga will find it leads to a reduction in blood pressure. In people who have been diagnosed with hypertension, daily yoga has been shown to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the need for medication.

2. The practice of yoga can amp up the speed of metabolism. With continual practice, hunger cues are reset and you can ward off the feeling of being ravenous. With hunger well-controlled, weight loss becomes more efficient, while the fact that your muscles are working on a daily basis contributes to their ability to burn fat and calories faster.

3. Yoga is an excellent form of stress management. Through breathing techniques and muscle control, total relaxation can be achieved by routine practice. The movements of yoga enable you to loosen your body and that, in turn, allows stress to exit the mind.

4. The development of core muscle strength is a benefit of yoga. The many poses enable the practitioner to become familiar with muscle groups in the body, while gaining better control over them. When you are aware of how your body works, you gain strength.

5. One benefit that doesn't get much attention is the power of yoga to diffuse anger. Yoga by its very nature encourages calmness. When you are in the midst of the controlled breathing of yoga, you realize these techniques work well, both in and out of a yoga class, to exhale anger out of your body. Staying calm is the antithesis of holding anger.

6. Practicing yoga regularly is a blessing for sufferers of chronic pain. Because yoga is a series of slow and purposeful movements, the low-impact nature of the practice makes it ideal for those with pain. Spinal compression is reduced and tensions ease. Some practitioners of yoga have reported the reduced need for pain medications due to the effect of yoga on their pain levels.

7. Those afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder who have taken up the practice of yoga have reported a decreased need for medication to handle their symptoms. Some have even said they were able to stop taking medication completely.

8. Yoga gives a huge boost to your hand and eye coordination, dexterity and reaction time. All of those need regular use to stay most beneficial to you. Yoga gently exercises them so they are ready when you need them in everyday situations.

9. Attention, memory and concentration are all areas that are improved by practicing yoga. As little as 8 weeks of performing yoga can cause a marked increase in these skills.

10. There is promising evidence that suggests the practice of yoga can elevate the level of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Low GABA levels are found in patients with Alzheimer's. Meditation, such as with yoga, has shown promise in slowing Alzheimer's progress.

There are truly limitless benefits when someone takes up yoga. From mind and spirit, to body and brain, yoga benefits every part of the human body.

Dylan Johnson is a writer for Fusion Fitness and Yoga. The have personal training, boot camp and yoga classes for all. 

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