Yoga is a known form of exercise and meditation. For a lot of people, it is the best way to unwind after a long day because it not only encourages breathing exercises, but it is also a good way to sweat. Yoga has always been associated with meditation, but the two mean different things. Before delving into the benefits of this discipline, it’s best to differentiate yoga between meditation.
Yoga vs. Meditation
Meditation is a way of focusing the mind on certain things and calming both the body and the breathing. Meditation can be done in any position because all you need to do is to quiet down and to center your attention on one thing. This form of relaxation helps energize the body and to reinforce proper blood circulation all over.
On the other hand, yoga is the physical activity using poses and adjustments in the body. There are different kinds of yoga, and some focus on dealing with tension, muscle pain, stress, etc. When you do yoga, it is only natural to give a few minutes to meditation. Thus, meditation is only part of doing yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
If it weren’t for its many benefits, yoga wouldn’t be practiced around the world. Listed below are some of the reasons why you should try yoga too.
- Practices mental clarity
Because yoga is done in a safe and quiet place, there is little room for noise and stress. Yoga classes are often done in groups, but each one does their own thing following the rhythm of their own breathing. No chattering is allowed and most definitely no gadgets should be used. Doing yoga even for 30 minutes a day can help improve mental clarity because this will be a time when you will not think of all the stress and work needed to be done during the day. The stillness and the focus you should put on your breathing allows your brain to free up some space for other things.
- Gives proper blood circulation
A big part of yoga is breathing exercises. Some people claim that more than the poses, yoga is centered on breathing exercises. Breathing exercises allow the body to take in the fresh air and to have enough oxygen supply. With that, your heart is able to pump more blood and oxygen to your body allowing it to function well.
- Reduces feelings of stress and fatigue
This benefit can be attributed to the safe space that yoga offers. Unlike other activities like sports or going to the gym, yoga is done in silence. There is no need to be competitive nor is there a need to force yourself to score certain points. In yoga, the poses focus on releasing the tension in your body, especially in your back and neck area. There are also poses that make your muscles stretch, which provide relaxation after staying in a stiff posture every day.
- Improves flexibility
When you’ve gone past the beginner level of yoga, you will notice that the poses become more difficult. There are poses that will require you to stand on your head or to have one of your legs stretched out away from your body. These poses are meant to improve flexibility and balance. When you are flexible, you are able to do things better because your movements are not restricted. It also allows your muscles and bones to endure more pain in the long run.
- Boosts confidence
Some yoga poses are difficult and once people are able to achieve these positions, they start to foster some self-confidence. Gaining self-confidence is a good way to boost mental health because it assures you of your worth and it allows you to be complete on your own. People with more self-confidence are able to do more things because they are aware of their capabilities.
Yoga classes are also a great way to boost confidence because of the supportive circle it creates. Aside from your yoga instructor being kind and gentle during the sessions, you are able to build relationships with your classmates.
In summary, yoga is a great way to boost physical and mental health. Contrary to popular belief, yoga is also a good way to reduce calories in the body because there are stretches and poses that make you sweat.