For over 5,000 years, people have been receiving the benefits of yoga and meditation, and as these practices have spread around the world, scientists have studied how yoga works and how yoga changes your body. Whether you take a class or do your own yoga practice at home, you’ll start to notice these benefits after just a few days.
Most people associate yoga with flexibility, and many of the more challenging poses do require a lot of flexibility. However, after just a few days of starting a daily yoga practice at home, you’ll probably notice that you can bend deeper into poses. Increased flexibility will help keep your joints healthy and injury free.
Many people start yoga because they want to know does yoga help you lose weight. When it comes to how yoga changes your body, it can burn some fat, but one of the main health benefits of yoga is toned and strengthened muscles. How yoga works on your muscles is through holding isometric poses, keeping your muscles steadily contracted for a period of time before releasing. So does yoga help you lose weight? It can, but as you build stronger muscles, the number on the scale might not change while your overall appearance does.
While many people do yoga to find out does yoga help you lose weight, there’s also a number of mental health benefits of yoga and meditation. Most yoga practices begin and end with a short guided meditation, focused on the breath, and throughout the pose, your mind will be engaged in focusing on aligning your poses and synchronizing your breath and movements. Improved focus is one of the naturally occuring mental health benefits of yoga and meditation.
As you build up a daily yoga practice and observe how yoga changes your body, you’ll likely notice better posture. This comes not just from toning your core but also for the focus yoga has on your body’s position. During your practice, you’ll constantly be reminded to lift up while rooting down, aligning your joints and improving your posture.
One of the unexpected mental health benefits of yoga is improved sleep. A daily yoga practice at home creates a peaceful environment, free from the hustle and bustle of work and to-do lists. Many types of yoga also promote a quieting and focusing of the senses, relaxing your nervous system and promoting better and deeper sleep.
Since yoga and meditation focus so much on your breath, you’ll likely notice naturally deeper breaths and stronger lungs throughout your day. When it comes to how yoga works, paying attention to the details of how you breathe will give you even more of the health benefits of yoga.
Yoga is one of the few exercises with so many physical and mental health benefits. Going to a studio with an experienced instructor can help you learn the basics of yoga and give you tips for fine tuning your practice, but there’s also a number of online sources that can help you establish a daily practice in your own home. Being consistent and disciplined with your practice will help your body receive all these benefits.