There may be days when setting aside some time for exercise or relaxation is a no-go, either because we have so much to do, or because you like to unwind in front of the television, browsing the internet or curling up with a book or magazine. But, dedicating even just 15 minutes a day to allow yourself some ‘me-time’ can do wonders for both your mind and body, especially when yoga is involved.
Yoga is not just about stretching increasing your flexibility; the British Wheel of Yoga, based in Sleaford, says: “The practice of yoga helps to co-ordinate the breath, mind and body to encourage balance, both internally and externally and promote feelings of relaxation and ease”, and some types have been practised for as many as 5,000 years for its various well-being qualities. Recent studies have confirmed the health benefits of yoga, from increased concentration through to boosted immunity, so here’s five reasons why we love yoga.
1. Improved Strength and Posture
Even though yoga is a low-impact exercise, regular sessions can strengthen your body, improving balance and flexibility. There are various postures which build strength in your core, arm and leg muscles, and helps to realign your back and shoulders, improving posture.
2. Improved Breathing
Breathing is a major part in yoga; it teaches your body to concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, taking deeper breaths and allowing yourself to fall into meditation. Postures can open up your chest area which enables you to take more oxygen into the body, opening up your airways, while other poses are designed to help you focus on your breathing as you relax.
3. Increased Relaxation
Yoga is a great exercise to do at night time as it helps you to relax. It encourages you to release tensions in the body and in your mentality, allowing you to fully unwind, leaving you with a clear head before you go to bed. Try practising yoga in a warm, quiet environment for a truly calming session.
4. Improved Sleep
As yoga helps you to relax more, it helps you to improve your sleep quality too. Studies have shown that yoga can improve the quality and length of sleep for those with common sleeping problems, such as insomnia. While the reasons for this requires more investigations and research, we know that yoga helps to clear the mind, and controlled, deep-breathing can help you to relax.
5. Improved Concentration
If you find yourself being easily distracted, forgetful or unmotivated, a yoga session in the morning can help. A quick routine in the morning, whether it is 15 minutes or 90 minutes, can energise you, clear your mind and release any tensions that may otherwise be a distraction.
There are various types of yoga, some more vigorous than others, but the exercise is loved by people of all ages for it’s calming, low impact nature. The British Wheel of Yoga website has more information about the different kinds and their benefits, as well as a listing of yoga instructors throughout Lincolnshire and the rest of the UK.