How yoga has spread
The benefits of yoga have been around for a very long time that you can find out easily by visiting. Remarkably, yoga dates back at least 5,000 years. It has its origins in Northern India. It passed through many different stages of development before it reached its modern format. Introduced to the West as late as the 19th and 20th Century, it gained real prominence when a Yoga school was opened up in Hollywood in the late 1940s.
But why is it so popular today?
The benefits of yoga – in its many different forms
With such a deep history and tradition, yoga has branched out into many different styles and forms over the centuries.
Among the most popular variations in the West today are Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga. Other practices that are gaining in popularity include Iyengar, Yin and of course Bikram.
And this leads us on to one of the first benefits of yoga. With so many different variations, there is a style to suit all needs, ability levels, and personality types.
Yoga also offers you a way to get the body back into balance. If you have been very focused on gym-style workouts, lifting weights and developing strength, then a gentle style of yoga that emphasyses flexibility could be for you.
Alternatively, if you are the cardio-queen, and have neglected your strength training, but feel overawed by the prospect of the weight rack, then Power Yoga could be a great way to find that balance.
How yoga benefits you physically
Many newcomers to yoga are attracted by its ability to help improve your flexibility. And whilst this is true, there are a plethora of other physical benefits the practice produces.
Virtually all yoga styles create a feeling of lightness, ease, and relaxation. But in addition, they can help to build strength and stamina, cardiovascular benefits and greatly aid the respiratory system.
There is also evidence, as highlighted in Medical News Today that yoga might help reduce blood pressure. And although the reductions are sometimes only small, they can still have significant benefits to your health.
The mental benefits of yoga
- The name ‘yoga’ itself comes from a Sanskrit word ‘”yuj”. Whilst the word can be translated in many different ways, the most common interpretation is ‘union’. In fact, the very purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.
- Yoga is a great form of stress relief. And regular practice can help produce mental clarity and calmness.
- Yoga is also excellent for enhancing self-awareness. Indeed, studies show that yogis have a more developed ‘superior parietal cortex’. This is an area of the brain which is involved in directing attention.
So next time you are struggling to pay attention in that weekly meeting. Consider signing up for some yoga. Find out which style most suits your needs, and begin to enjoy both the physical and mental benefits of yoga for yourself.
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