From its origin in ancient India to it becoming commonplace on virtually every continent, the practice of yoga has evolved with man. Perhaps you’ve come across applications like Yoga for beginners, Yoga Studio, and Daily Yoga. These are all pieces of evidence that point to the popularity of yoga today. But why should you even practice yoga in the first place? Here are seven benefits of yoga and meditation you’d find surprising.
1. Helps with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Yoga could help in managing arthritis. This might sound far-fetched. However, research suggests that yoga could result in reduced joint pain and improved joint flexibility in people suffering from arthritis.
A small study also shows that yoga and meditation may help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms. You could try out these yoga poses: Tree pose, Bridge pose, Savasana or Corpse pose, Chair yoga, reclined supine twist pose, and if you have enough strength and mobility, you could also try the Sun salutation.
2. Cures Hangovers
Getting out of bed for a yoga session when tending a hangover sure doesn’t sound like the best idea. Nonetheless, yoga seems to be the most effective remedy for a hangover. Yoga helps improve circulation, releases toxins, and aids digestion in your system. It’ll also bring relief to your “pounding” head.
Yoga relieves tension from head to toe and leaves your body feeling energized, relaxed, and rejuvenated. Exactly what you need to move on from a hangover. So, next time you are shut out of your system for taking one too many shots of tequila, grab your yoga mat and let the magic play before your very own eyes.
Here are some yoga poses you can try to recover from a hangover:
- Corpse pose/ savasana
- Child’s pose/ balasana
- Cat-cow pose
- Boat pose/ Navasana
3. Improves Heart Health
The heart is a very vital organ in the body – an organ we must keep healthy. Luckily, yoga and meditation help keep the heart healthy. Meditating for about ten to fifteen minutes at least once daily reduces stress levels. It also helps the body relax, lowers blood pressure, and promotes better blood flow.
Research has also shown that yoga eradicates arterial plaque, reduces the risks of heart diseases, and presents the heart with numerous benefits.
4. Great for Asthma
When asked to list ten respiratory diseases, asthma probably comes in the first five. But, no surprises here; after all, asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases, costing billions of dollars all over the world. Yoga helps wage war against this villain – asthma.
A study on the clinical effects of yoga on asthmatic patients recorded a decreased number of day and night attacks and the use of drugs among asthmatic patients involved in yoga exercise. Yoga also resulted in a significant improvement in the peak expiratory flow rate of these patients.
If you currently have asthma, taking up yoga might just be a step in the right direction. Ready to try out yoga for asthma? We recommend starting with Pranayama, a type of yoga that focuses on breathing techniques and is particularly effective against asthma.
5. Helps You Sleep Better
The need for sleep in the body cannot be overemphasized. Little wonder insomnia could result in stress buildup, lower performance, and even mental health disorders. Sleep is how the body relaxes, recuperates, and prepares for the next active moment.
The good news is, yoga is a great natural way to combat insomnia. Yoga is a soothing and recuperative way to unwind. An article on the impact of long-term yoga practice on sleep quality and quality of life in the elderly shows that having regular yoga exercises as part of the daily routine of older adults can help to achieve good sleep quality and also improves the quality of life. If insomnia is something you struggle with, the right dose of CBD for sleep coupled with yoga is just the perfect natural remedy you need to sleep like a baby.
6. Boosts your Mood
Have you caught yourself feeling rather sad too many times lately? The right amount of yoga might just be all you need to boost that mood.
Research has proven that yoga and meditation can help boost cognitive-behavioral performance. According to a study by the Boston University Medical Center, yoga may also be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety.
Performing yoga in a group is also a great way to dramatically improve one’s mood. Group yoga stimulates the production of oxytocin (the love hormone). Also, it results in higher serotonin levels- the perfect hormone combo for the best mood.
More so, A Study on the Effects of Yoga on Mood in Psychiatric Inpatients recorded significant improvements on all five of the negative emotion factors on the profile of mood states (POMS). It also suggested that yoga was associated with improved mood and maybe an expedient way of reducing stress during inpatient psychiatric treatment.
7. Promotes Mental Clarity
Do you catch yourself mentally drifting off course often? Yoga and meditation could be just the solution. The perfect combo to sharpen your brain focus and mind refocus.
Forming a habit of meditation helps you slow down and process information efficiently. Yoga and meditation serve as the storage bench that helps you prevent clutter and organize your thoughts. It does this by ridding your mind and body of stress, anxiety, and negativities. Want mental clarity? Build a habit of meditation and yoga.
An article from the US National Library of Medicine on yoga effects on brain health shows promising fresh evidence that yoga practice can positively impact brain health. Studies also suggest that yoga practice may affect the functional connectivity regions known to show significant age-related changes. Thus, yoga may potentially lessen age-related and neurodegenerative declines.
Ultimately, yoga and meditation are indispensable practices that offer numerous benefits to the body. Reduced pain, improved cognitive function, better mental health, greater creativity, improved sleep, reduced depression, enhanced consciousness, mental clarity, and reduced anxiety are a few of the numerous functions of yoga and meditation.