Yoga helps enhance physical and mental health, leading to a more healthy and balanced life. In this post, we look at some of the benefits of yoga, and how an everyday yoga routine can boost overall well-being.
Sedentary Lifestyles, and the need for Everyday Yoga
With the explosion of the internet economy, sedentary jobs have become increasingly common for most working professionals. According to research by the WHO, around 60% to 85% of people in the world, both in developing and developed countries, lead a sedentary lifestyle. And with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and Working From Home becoming the new norm, this number is no doubt due to rise even further in the near future.
It’s well known that a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to physical and mental well-being over a period of time. Studies have found that sitting for more than 10 hours a day can greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, while also giving rise to a host of other health problems.
Given that so many of us are confined to our homes for the foreseeable future, it’s become more important than ever to ensure we get enough physical activity, to stay active, and keep these problems at bay.
The Benefits of Yoga for Physical and Mental Well-being
With access to most gyms and health clubs still severely limited by Covid, yoga has become a popular addition to a lot of people’s fitness routines – and it’s easy to see why. For one thing, it’s extremely convenient! Other than a mat and your own body, you don’t need any other equipment to attend a yoga class.
Scientific research, conducted over a number of years, helps to highlight the numerous benefits of yoga for our physical and mental health.
Energizing the body
One of the most significant benefits of yoga is how it helps to energize the body. This is especially relevant in the modern age, particularly for people who sit at a desk for most of the day. Studies have shown that “power” poses in particular, as a part of an everyday yoga routine, can go a long way towards helping to shake off feelings of lethargy, while also boosting feelings of control and self-esteem.
Improving Flexibility and Balance
Yoga can also have a measurable effect on our overall flexibility and balance. A 10-week study conducted on college athletes found that even bi-weekly yoga sessions showed significant improvements in flexibility and balance in key muscle areas such as the knees, hips and shoulders. Researchers believe that the positive impact on these particular characteristics can in turn enhance athletic performance.
Enhancing blood circulation
Sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs can have a number of detrimental effects on the body. Insufficient movement leads to our heart rate and blood flow slowing down, which in turn can cause the tendons and ligaments to stiffen. Certain everyday yoga postures help to improve blood circulation and levels of haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Yoga can also thin the blood naturally, preventing the formation of clots, and thus lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Boosting Mental Well-being
While its physical advantages are well documented, one of the major benefits of yoga that is often overlooked is the positive effect it can have on our mental wellness. A well-structured yoga routine can do wonders to help people combat the effects of insomnia, stress, and anxiety through regular practice.
At the end of the day, yoga is an extremely effective and holistic tool to improve one’s overall well-being. The positive impact it can have is well documented, and this is translating into a tremendous recent resurgence in popularity. If you’re someone who’s stuck at the desk for most of your day, it’s very important to find ways to stay active, to benefit both your mental and physical well-being. And yoga is an excellent place to start!