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BellaOnline's Yoga Editor

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4 Reasons To Practice Yoga

Guest Author - Tracy Webb

Yoga is a valuable addition to one’s life. There are many reasons to practice yoga, all of which are of benefit to the mind, body, and spirit. Since practicing yoga, I know that if it happens that I miss a day I feel ‘out of sorts’, and unable to function to my full potential.

Of all the reasons to practice yoga, I have chosen my top 4 key benefits:

Stress Reduction

Stress is the result of our hectic lifestyles. We rush from one thing to another, and don’t take time to recover our equanimity. The more things put on us, the more we weaken, and eventually crumble under the strain. Yoga practice is an excellent antidote to stress, since it involves using the breath to guide us back to our center.

Stress is really of the mind, and our inability to remain in the present moment. We spend our time worrying about the past, and future events that have not happened yet. Science has shown that by having stressful thoughts, the body experiences it as if the events are actually happening.

We may be sitting in a quiet peaceful room, and experiencing the effects of our thoughts without anything physical happening. Through practicing yoga, a lot of emphasis is on awareness of the breath. Focusing on the breath helps to keep us in the present moment, and it tells us about our state of mind.

By introducing simple breathing exercises and taking time to sit in The Child Pose, it is possible that you will find a shift in thinking, and a calmer outlook.

Strengthening Muscles

There is a growing trend in obesity, and lack of exercise is contributing to the problem. Our bodies are not designed to sit down all day. We need to stay as active as possible to assist with prolonging our mobility.

Yoga is beneficial to all ages, and abilities. There are versions suitable for sitting on a chair as well as postures that allow a more thorough workout. Due to the gentle nature of yoga, it is easy to add some simple effective asana into the day.

When we practice yoga, we assist with strengthening the spine, and muscles. Spine health is extremely important, as all else is an extension from the spinal column. When we look after our posture, perform gentle stretching movements, we greatly assist the body’s ability to function naturally.

Anti-Aging

In a world that is obsessed with staying young, many turn to lotions, and expensive surgery. Yoga is attributed with keeping the signs of aging at bay, due to the calmness it brings to the mind.

Stress plays a large part in the aging process, and relaxation is the antidote. When we are relaxed, facial lines soften, and our skin takes on a healthy glow; having a calm mind, and a healthy diet, contribute to reducing the signs of aging, and the detrimental effects on our body.

Natural body functions are enhanced

It is not uncommon for people to suffer constipation, breathlessness, aching muscles, and poor circulation. Yoga, when practiced regularly, keeps all the bodily systems functioning naturally. Each posture has a beneficial effect of the body, which is determined by the nature of the asana.

Benefits that are experienced include, detoxification, strengthening of muscles, reduction of excess fat, clarity of mind, and ease of mobility. Due to the deep stretches, and calmness of breath, yoga allows the natural flow of the body its expression. On the other hand, if compromised, the body has to compensate, and functions to a lesser degree.

The beauty of yoga is that it can be performed anywhere at any time; there is no need for expensive equipment. After seeing how yoga may benefit you, I hope you are inspired to have a go, and potentially change your life for the better.

Happy practicing!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Tracy Webb. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tracy Webb. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Terri Johansen for details.

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