Well there should be no question as to how I’ve chosen to spend my month – a 30 Day Yoga Challenge and while I appreciated everyone’s support, this is an opportunity I’m taking for myself, with or without the support of the people around me as I’m looking to improve my life and health.
Yoga is something that people think of as a healthy practice, knowing that there are multiple benefits beyond just the physical activity and mental clarity. I thought I would take this challenge to research and share just how beneficial yoga can be on a person. I found this article, 77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga. It’s a long list and I don’t expect everyone to read every single one, I thought I would include some interesting ones below. Some of these I knew, some I didn’t. Some of these relate to me or my family history, some don’t. But either way, it’s really interesting and if this snipet interests you, I recommend reading the whole list – it may just surprise you too!
Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga (see below for more on back pain).
Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better. Read here for more on sleep and yoga, as well as some positions for helping induce sleep.
Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life. Read more about yoga and stress management here.
Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over. This post describes how success is not measured by perfectionism in yoga.
Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in a better memory.
Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.
Eye-hand coordination. Without practice, eye-hand coordination diminishes. Yoga maintains and improves eye-hand coordination.
Alzheimer’s. A new study indicates that yoga can help elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Meditation like that practiced in yoga has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
Asthma. There is some evidence to show that reducing symptoms of asthma and even reduction in asthma medication are the result of regular yoga.
Cancer. Those fighting or recovering from cancer frequently take advantage of the benefits that yoga provides. Cancer patients who practice yoga gain strength, raise red blood cells, experience less nausea during chemotherapy, and have a better overall well-being.
Migraines. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce the number of migraines in chronic migraine sufferers. This post describes how yoga can reduce migraines.
Scoliosis. Yoga can straighten the curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis. Find out how this yogi cured her scoliosis and continues to help others as well.
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