5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA GO FAR BEYOND FLEXIBILITY AND MOBILITY

For centuries yoga has been considered a workout for the mind, body and soul. Last month I wrote a piece for Natural Health Magazine where I shared five surprising health benefits of yoga that you may not realise and I wanted to share these with you just incase you missed it…

1. BOOSTS CIRCULATION AND IMMUNITY

By practising yoga, you are not only training your body to adopt postures and learn sequences, but you are also taking control of your breathing. The correlation between movement and breathing aids the circulation of blood flow, which in turn improves your internal organ functions and boosts your body’s immune system – leaving you fit as a fiddle.

THE KEY POSE: SUN SALUTATION (SURYA NAMASKAR)

This eight pose sequence will generate great circulation and an increased but controlled breathing rate.

2. INCREASE YOUR SEXUAL LIBIDO

There is both a mental and a physical relationship between yoga and sexual libido. The mental process of controlling your breathing whilst practising yoga will improve your sexual performance. The physical movement involved to achieve the desired pose will increase blood flow to the genital area and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, also known as the Mula Bandha. An increased circulation of blood flow will also heighten the level of sexual arousal, and so through yoga you can increase your libido and fire up your sex life.

THE KEY POSE: BOUND ANGLE POSE (BADDHA KONASANA)

This pose is a great hip opener, strengthens your inner thighs and stimulates your pelvic floor muscles.

3. RELIEVES STRESS AND ANXIETY

Yoga is known as a relaxing activity and those feelings of contentment and satisfaction go far beyond the practice itself. Yoga helps you to find a physical, mental and emotional balance which can reduce underlying levels of stress and anxiety. The mind-body practice of yoga which combines posture, meditation and breathing can lower blood pressure and restore a healthy resting heart rate.

THE KEY POSE: CORPSE POSE (SHAVASANA)

This pose will allow the body to regroup, relax and reset itself.

4. PROMOTES BETTER POSTURE, BALANCE AND BODY AWARENESS

Yoga teaches you how to hold and control your body in a healthier position. The more you practise, the more you will see your balance and body awareness improve outside of the exercise. In a yoga class, you are coached to make small, subtle adjustments to improve your body alignment – this can lead to an improved posture in the long run. In doing so, it will increase the level of comfort you have in your own body, and lead to greater self-confidence.

THE KEY POSE: TREE POSE (VRIKSASANA)

This pose will improve your sense of balance, body awareness and postural control.

5. SPEEDS UP THE HANGOVER RECOVERY PROCESS

Following a night out on the town, or even just one too many glasses of vino, yoga may well be the last thing on your mind. However, it is a proven way to increase the metabolism and detoxify your entire system. Poses such as the ‘Fish’ and ‘Shoulderstand’ work on stimulating the thyroid gland, improving metabolism and allowing you to recover more quickly from a hangover. The right yoga routine will also cleanse your body as a detoxifying yoga sequence can squeeze out toxins, ease digestion and build lean muscle mass.

THE KEY POSE: SEATED TWIST (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA)

This pose will cleanse your body by stimulating the liver, kidneys and digestive tract.

Why not purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and try collaborating your workout routine with some yoga on your designated holistic training days t0 find out for yourself how yoga may benefit you in more ways than you think…

BE FIT, BE WELL, BE SUPA!

SupaChick x

SupaChick

*GUEST BLOG* – Diana Azavedo: Yoga – a union of mind, body and self

Diana Azavedo is the founder of Radiance of Yoga, Dubai. Diana developed a fondness for yoga some years ago and has since followed her passion and built up her own yoga and wellness business together with her mother. Radiance of Yoga offers a variety of classes and information relating to the improvement of health and wellness through yoga and is based in Dubai. Today Diana has written a piece for SupaChick around her belief that the practice of Yoga helps one to find the light, the guidance and the radiance within one’s self…ENJOY! 

Is there anyone who has not heard about Yoga in today’s modern world. If you look around, every gym and wellness centre offers Yoga today – some of the biggest successful events revolve around health and fitness. With the ever soaring stress levels in our life today, it is no surprise that Yoga, a centuries old physical, mental and spiritual discipline is gaining more popularity day by day.

So why is Yoga so good for you? How does it benefit you? and what is Yoga? Yoga from its Sanskrit root “yuj” means to unite or join. To attain this unity or one-ness, you can work towards the body, then the mind and finally with the inner self. This work involves actual practice not only reading articles or theories.

Most people are initially attracted to the obvious physical benefits because we can relate best with our gross self- the body. On a pure physical layer; the practice of asana or a pose helps you build muscle flexibility & strength, perfects posture & spine alignment, relieves back pain, massages your internal organs which aids digestion; all of which contribute towards a good night’s sleep and rest. After a while, it sparks curiosity of whether Yoga is just about the physical or is there something more subtle to it?

Understand that the physical practice in a yoga studio is an important but minuscule part of Yoga, only to prepare the body to sit in a steady and comfortable pose to prepare for other more powerful aspects of Yoga like pranayama (breathing techniques) and finally meditation. Yoga through meditation works remarkably to achieve harmony between the body, mind and inner self as the goal of Yoga is defined to be. The meditative practice provides a personal platform for you to observe your sensations arising from surrounding activities, or interactions with other people or our emotions caused by ever-changing circumstances around us. You will see that stress levels may continue to remain the same, however your ability to manage stress has changed dramatically. This in turn creates a significant calmness and a positive outlook, which also has tremendous benefits on the physical health of the body.

Yoga becomes your very own support system, and it takes continuous effort and dedication, which is why it is called a discipline and a practice. You enrol on your mat each time, you take time out for yourself every day, every time to breathe, to stretch , relax and de-stress. So ask yourself…Are you ready for your first Yoga class? 🙂

Why not purchase either the 4 week, 8 week or 12 week SupaChick Fitness Programme available on the SupaChick shop, and try collaborating your routine with some Yoga on your designated holistic training days?

Namaste,

Diana Azavedo x

www.radianceofyoga.com

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