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Health Benefits of Yoga

Health Benefits of Yoga
Katrina Ellis

1 have been teaching and doing yoga for close to twenty years and without doubt, it has been my greatest friend in helping to reduce stress, maintain flexibility and calm my busy mind. But there are countless other physcial and hormone benefits to be obtained from the regular practice of yoga which many people do not know about.

 

These include:
1. Better Muscle Tone – When you practice yoga regularly you can improve your muscle tone and obtain longer, leaner looking muscles. Even though, weights, pump classes and similar gym programs are great for improving muscle strength and tone, they can also make muscles look bulky, thick and masculine in some women. Yoga is completely the opposite. It helps to create beautiful, elongated muscles and limbs while ensuring better strength and flexibility. One way to obtain these results is to use a combination of strength training with yoga postures.
2. Weight Loss – Yoga involves the power of your breath withe the strength and flexibility of your body to hold and attain yoga postures or stances (known as asanas). This helps to balance endocrine gland function of the thyroid, pancreas, adrenals and sex hormones. When these endocrine glands are balanced, metabolism remains at peak performance.
3. Pain Reduction – Yoga is perfect at increasing your core strength and the flexibility of the muscles that hold the spine in place. If you spend a lot of time at a desk, driving a car or in a manual labour job, you can create a great deal of muscle compression on the spine. Regular yoga helps to overcome this by improving alignment, flexibility and muscle relaxation to ensure less pressure is placed on the spine, thereby reducing back pain and tension.
4. Better Breathing and Organ Function: Most people breathe shallowly into the lungs or through the nose. Yoga breathing, which is known as Pranayama, focuses the attention on the breath and shows you how to breathe deep into your abdomen, oxygenating all of the body’s organs, tissues and cells. Organs that are flooded with oxygen rich blood are more resilient to disease and illness.
5. Stress Reduction and Mental Balance: Yoga induces relaxation and a sense of calmness to the mind and soul, not only because of the oxygenating effect of breathing, but also because of the calming effect of the asana’s or body postures. Most types of yoga use meditation and encourage during practice that you dissociate from a racing mind by staying centred and focused in exactly the postures you are performing. It is brilliant for centering the mind and grounding the soul.

I think it is very important if you want to learn yoga to find a good yoga centre with fantastic, caring and experienced teachers. Being an instructor myself, it is hard to find instructors that you like and that resonate with the perfection of yoga. One of my favourite centres is the Gold Coast Yoga Centre at Palm Beach. They have some amazing instructors and a very good timetable for people who need early mornings or evenings. A lot of my clients also comment about the quality and professionalism of the Byron Yoga Centre.

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