Everyone’s doing it - from elite athletes to the injured, from children to the elderly, but what’s it really all about and what’s in it for you?
As a chiropractor, acupuncture provider and yoga teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how incorporating yoga into your regular routine can improve your wellbeing. I’ve not only witnessed this improvement, I’ve experienced it myself during recovery after a serious neck injury. Although some may approach yoga with purely a physical intention, I can also confirm that the most powerful changes occur within the mind. Yoga poses, or asanas, were developed over thousands of years to achieve a fit body (balanced, strong, flexible, stable and healthy) to support the mind. One of the best things about yoga is that it is practised with non-judgment and non-competitiveness, neither towards others nor towards oneself.
I’ve put together a list of twenty benefits of yoga, although I could have added many more!
- Improves flexibility
- Builds strength
- Perfects posture
- Protects the spine
- Prevents joint and cartilage degeneration
- Increases bone density
- Improves blood flow
- Boosts immunity through lymphatic drainage
- Lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose
- Regulates the adrenal glands (cortisol/“stress” hormone)
- Improves happiness
- Encourages self care
- Helps concentration and focus
- Balances the nervous system
- Improves balance
- Leads to deeper sleep
- Enlarges lung capacity
- Prevents digestive ailments
- Improves self esteem
- Invites peace of mind.
It is often said in the yoga world that yoga finds you when you’re ready. Personally, I tried yoga several times before I was ready to appreciate all that yoga could offer me. I never would have thought I would end up teaching it!
by Dr Kimberly Richter