Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. It is now practiced in various forms around the world.
The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and means “to join or unite”. It is the union of body and mind, body and soul and body and consciousness.
During COVID-19, yoga's popularity increased proving to be a powerful tool to help ease COVID stress and to maintain an overall physical and mental well-being.
The benefits of yoga and meditation are numerous, and some may even surprise you!
Staying at home most of the time and working remotely can have impact on your body and on your mental health. While it is important to keep moving your body, it is crucial not to forget about the health of our minds.
Here is where yoga and meditation (we often separate them, but meditation is in fact one of the most important parts of yoga) can be of benefit.
If you’re considering starting your yoga & meditation practise, check out this list of 5 main benefits of regular yoga & meditation practise.
Top 5 Benefits Of Regular Yoga and Meditation
1. Stress Reduction
The various techniques involved in yoga are a natural stress stabilizer. A slow flow of yoga movements together with meditation and breathing techniques (pranayama) can help you slow down your mind and relax the body leading to reduced levels of stress.
Research shows that meditation lowers the cortisol levels (the primary stress hormone) in the blood suggesting that it can lower stress and may decrease the risk of diseases that arise from stress such as psychiatric disorder and migraine.
2. Better Focus and Concentration
Yoga and meditation improve focus and concentration. Yoga is all about linking breath with motion and becoming fully present in mind and body.
The practice of yoga is centred around breath awareness, body awareness and all the sensations associated with each movement.
Balancing poses are in particular a great way to improve concentration and focus.
In meditation, we learn how to create inner peace in spite of thoughts passing through our mind. A regular meditation practise helps us maintain focus even when disturbed by external and internal noises.
3. Increased flexibility, strength and reduced lower back pain
Without a doubt, yoga helps to increase flexibility and strength and is especially beneficial for reducing lower back pain.
As with any physical practice, we need to be mindful when working with our bodies. Yoga is meant to be done mindfully and without overexertion. It is meant to be practised with an utmost respect for our bodies and our souls. If you really listen to your body, you are unlikely to get an injury when doing yoga.
If you have a regular yoga practice, over time you can be sure to increase your strength and flexibility.
4. Slower aging and improved cardiovascular health
Research show that yoga and meditation can slow down the effects of aging. This is due to reduced stress on the body as a result of regular yoga practise (including meditation, breathwork, asana practice).
Yoga can also help to improve cardiovascular health contributing to an overall physical well-being.
5. Emotional Health
Yoga is a holistic practise. Studies show that it can help to fight with depression, anxiety and addictions.
Regular yoga practice can help with self-image and can help to rewire the brain in a way that you will view the world in a more positive way.
Taking time to yourself for yoga and meditation allow for reconnecting with our emotions and allow to recognize the areas of our life that we want to focus on.
Start your journey with yoga and meditation today.