11 Proven Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga originated in ancient India, and these days millions of Westerners of any age and fitness level practice yoga on a regular basis. Even though yoga is a spiritual practice to many people, most Westerners make use of yoga for exercise or to lower stress.
There are 3 major techniques used in yoga: exercise (asana or postures), breathing and meditation:
- In yoga, breathwork is referred to as pranayama, which reduces oxygen consumption and increases blood circulation. Breathing exercises could also boost how much air can be drawn into the lungs. Getting a lot of air into the lungs helps one feel focused and alert.
- Asanas, or postures, give a gentle to intense work out which enhances strength, balance and flexibility.
- Meditation stills the mind and leads to both emotional and physical relaxation, which will help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, anxiety and chronic pain.
Yoga can alleviate chronic low-back pain.
If you work at a desk job, sitting all day can have a negative effect on your back. Underutilized muscles may be causing the problem. For example, when hip muscles or hamstrings are tight, lower back muscles may try to compensate, leading to pain.
Better posture provides a boost of confidence.
Yoga can help men look more confident, especially as they age. Better overall muscle tone and increased flexibility help improve posture, and better posture means looking more confident.
Yoga reduces stress and anxiety.
The mind-body technique uses a combination of physical poses, controlled breathing, and relaxation techniques that has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Yoga leads to better sex.
Both increased libido and improved sexual performance have been linked to regular yoga practice. In a 2010 study of men ages 24 to 60, yoga was shown to improve all domains of sexual function in men.
Yoga can help men become more mindful of what they eat.
a steady yoga practice has been tied to healthier eating habits.
People who practice yoga have lower medical bills.
People who practice yoga could reduce their need for health care services by 43 percent. That’s almost half as many doctor visits and fewer doctor bills.
Yoga promotes weight loss and tones up muscles.
In a study by the Journal of Alternative Medicine, overweight men who practiced yoga lost four pounds in 10 days. Yoga lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that prompts your body to collect belly fat.
Yoga counters the negative effects of other physical activities favored by men.
For example, when playing racquetball and golf, the spine tends to consistently turn in one direction. Yoga helps balance this disparity.
Improved stamina means better workouts all around.
Another recent study found that yoga practice improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, as well as building muscle strength.
Yoga increases deadlift strength.
A 2013 study showed that men who followed 12 weeks of a yoga program exhibited increased deadlift strength as well as substantially increasing lower back/hamstring flexibility and shoulder flexibility.
Yoga builds muscles evenly.
Men tend to work at building muscles on specific parts of their body, focusing, for example, on biceps, quads, and shoulders, whereas yoga builds muscles evenly over the whole body and increases flexibility. Regular attempts at bodybuilding might ignore some muscle groups while yoga is effective for overall general conditioning.
How to start doing yoga?
Deciding that you want to start doing yoga is the first step. It’s easy to get stuck here, though. Don’t be intimidated! Here is the information you will need to take that next step and start enjoying the pleasures and benefits of yoga.
A little research will be required on your part. Many yoga classes are out there, and you may be turned off if you pick one that does not suit your personality and state of physical fitness.These are basic styles, and you can always try something fancier later.