There are numerous health benefits of Yoga, as you will see below, but lets talk a little history first. Yoga is known to have been practiced for over 5,000 years, but some suggest that it’s origins could be as ancient as 10,000 years old. It is though that yoga’s origins began in the Indus civilizations of Northern India. The first references to yoga appeared in the Rig Veda, texts used by Vedic priests known as Brahmans. Yoga was initially used as part of ancient Hindu rituals.
Yoga would finally make its way westward in the 1800 and 1900s. The first yoga studio in The United States was opened in Hollywood in 1947 by Indra Devi. Since that time, yoga has become popularized in the US with yoga studios widely available throughout the country.
There are over 100 different types––or schools––of yoga; however, virtually all of them include breathing exercises, meditations and postures that focusing on stretching and flexing a variety of muscle groups.
While yoga is descendant from the Hindu religion, many people who practice yoga do not associate with it’s religious beliefs and instead practice yoga for the mental and physical benefits it confers. With the legion of associated benefits and health problems yoga is thought to alleviate, the dividends that practicing yoga might pay would certainly merit it as worth trying––particularly if you have been struggling to find an exercise you enjoy.
Yoga has many recognized mental and physical benefits, including but not limited to:
- Increased muscle tone, strength, flexibility and balance
- Improved posture
- Benefits for bone health and the health of your spine
- Benefits for respiration, heart and circulatory health including lower blood pressure
- Increased metabolism and fat burning
- Protection against injury and improved athleticism
- Benefits for chronic pain, arthritis and carpal tunnel
- Reduced insomnia
- Benefits against stress, anxiety and depression
It is entirely possible to incorporate yoga into your Kaufmann Lifestyle and your exercise program. Because of how prolific it has become, it is possible to find yoga studios almost anywhere that cater to everyone from professional athletes to beginners. There are even apps and videos that you can play on your mobile devices that will guide you through yoga sessions, meaning that yoga is something you can practice anywhere, even if you are traveling. It requires no equipment (other than perhaps a yoga mat), just some space to be able to perform the movements.
Given it’s physical benefits, especially, yoga can be good to work into your exercise regimen––particularly if you struggle with flexibility, pain in your back or joints or just need to find a new type of exercise to enjoy.