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8 reasons why you should practice yoga

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Posted by Sonia G of Ataia Yoga under Yoga on 25 July 2013 at 11:00 PM

So, are you looking for a good reason to join a yoga studio? Here I have discussed 8 ways yoga can make you healthier and happier. And I hope they are enough to make you roll out your mat and start practicing yoga.

1. Flexibility

Improved flexibility of joints is perhaps one of the most apparent health benefits of yoga. You may not be able to touch your toes in the first class, but don't get disappointed. It's quite natural, if you have never tried any form of exercise before.

Cindy doing a seated forward bend

You simply need to be regular in attending classes and gradually your body parts will loosen up and become more flexible. Poses which were impossible earlier will seem easier now. Ashtanga yoga is a vigorous form of yoga exercises that mainly focuses on physical flexibility of the body.

2. Strength 

Crane Pose Of course, stronger muscles make you look sexy. But it does more than this. They prevent us from conditions like back pain and arthritis, and protect elderly people from falls. When you go to the gym and build muscle by lifting pounds, you comprise on flexibility. But when you achieve the same thing via yoga practice, you can get the right balance of strength and flexibility.

3. Body Posture

Your head is like a bowling ball, which is big, round in shape and a bit heavy in weight. So, if your head is positioned over an erect spine, it will require less support from your neck and back muscles. If you move your head's position in forward direction by a few inches, you start stretching your neck and back muscles. Hold this position for eight or twelve hours a day, and it's not surprising that you will get badly tired at the end. Poor posture can cause permanent back pain and many other issues. Yoga teaches you correct posture which will help you outside of class as well as in a session. 

4. Free Joints

Joint cartilage is like a sponge; it can get fresh nutrients only when its existing fluid is moved out and new nutrients can be sucked in. When lacking proper nourishment, unused areas of cartilage can gradually get worn out, exposing the inner bones. Whenever you practice yoga, you move your joints to the fullest range possible.

Standing bow pose

These movements help practitioners to prevent degenerative arthritis or eliminate the chances of disability due to squeezed and soaked cartilage area, which isn't used normally. 

5. Spinal Cord

It comprises of the spinal disks, the shock absorber between the vertebrae, and responsible for all our movements. If you practice asana that include numerous forward bends, backward bends and twists, it will certainly keep your spinal disks springy.

6. Bone Density

Extended Warrior pose

Yes, regular yoga practice increase bone density in the vertebrae, which lowers the stress hormone cortisol and keep right level of calcium in the bones. Simply put, yoga strengthens your bones and prevents you from osteoporosis.

7. Blood Circulation

Most of the relaxation exercises you will learn in yoga work to improve blood circulation in your body, meaning it can save you from heart attacks and strokes. You may not have thought it, but many yoga sequences will give you a cardio-vascular workout as well as flexibility training.

8. Ultimate Peace Of Mind

Meditation, pranayama and asanas make you feel calmer and rejuvenated. Especially if you are suffering from work stress or you're a pregnant woman feeling nervous and low on her self-confidence, yoga can heal your mind and drag you in peace zone. For pregnant women, there is a specific form of yoga practice called 'prenatal yoga' (rückbildungsyoga in german) that helps her in a myriad of ways for staying healthy and happy. 

These are just the tip of the iceberg for why you should practice yoga. Yoga has countless benefits to offer, be it mental, physical, physiological and spiritual. So, when are you joining a yoga class?

Can you think of any more reasons why you practice yoga? Share them in the comments below.

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